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Background paper to the synthesis of the lessons learned from the IFAD9 Impact Assessment Initiative

Published by: IFAD


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In recent years, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has increasingly strengthened its focus on achieving and measuring results. In 2011-2012, resources were invested in the IFAD9 Impact Assessment Initiative (IFAD9 IAI) in order to: (i) explore methodologies to assess impact; (ii) measure – to the degree possible – the results and impacts of IFAD-financed activities; and (iii) summarize lessons learned and advise on rigorous and cost-effective approaches to attributing impact to IFAD interventions. The initiative reflects a recognition of IFAD’s responsibility to generate evidence of the success of IFAD-supported projects so as to learn lessons for the benefit of future projects. This paper describes the IFAD9 IAI and the range of methods that have been identified to broaden the evidence base for the estimation of IFAD impacts, and presents the results from the aggregation and projection methodology used to compute the Fund’s aggregate impact on key outcomes, while also highlighting what has been learned. The results show that there are many areas in which IFAD-supported project beneficiaries have had, on average, better outcomes in percentage terms as compared to comparison farmers who were not project beneficiaries. Specifically, IFAD-supported projects are effectively poverty-reducing: when choosing durable asset indexes as the preferred poverty proxies on the grounds that they better approximate long-run wealth, findings point to statistically significant gains. Overall, the analyses strongly imply that IFAD is effectively improving the well-being of rural people in terms of asset accumulation, and higher revenue and income. The IFAD9 IAI represents a pioneering research effort, which has tried to overcome the clear challenges of designing data collection and conducting ex post impact assessments in a context where data were scarce, with a view to measuring progress towards a global accountability goal over a very short period of time. Therefore, an important recommendation is that future impact assessments should be selected and designed ex ante, and structured to facilitate and maximize learning, rather than used solely as an instrument to prove accountability.

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General Information

SDGs Goal 1: No poverty
Published
2016
Thematic Area
Inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication
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End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. While the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by more than half – from 1.9 billion in 1990, to 836 million in 2015 – too many people are still struggling to meet the most basic human needs.

Globally, more than 800 million people are still living on less than $1.25 a day; many lack access to adequate food, clean drinking water and sanitation. Rapid economic growth in countries like China and India has lifted millions out of poverty, but progress has been uneven. Women are disproportionately affected; they are more likely to live in poverty due to unequal access to paid work, education and property.

Progress has also been limited in other regions, such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which account for 80 percent of the people living in extreme poverty. This rate is expected to rise due to new threats brought on by climate change, conflict and food insecurity.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a bold commitment to finish what we started, and end poverty in all forms and dimensions by 2030. In order to achieve the SDGs, we must target those living in vulnerable situations, increasing access to basic resources and services, and support communities affected by conflict and climate-related disasters.

Ending poverty is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 1.

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End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. While the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by more than half – from 1.9 billion in 1990, to 836 million in 2015 – too many people are still struggling to meet the most basic human needs.

Globally, more than 800 million people are still living on less than $1.25 a day; many lack access to adequate food, clean drinking water and sanitation. Rapid economic growth in countries like China and India has lifted millions out of poverty, but progress has been uneven. Women are disproportionately affected; they are more likely to live in poverty due to unequal access to paid work, education and property.

Progress has also been limited in other regions, such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which account for 80 percent of the people living in extreme poverty. This rate is expected to rise due to new threats brought on by climate change, conflict and food insecurity.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a bold commitment to finish what we started, and end poverty in all forms and dimensions by 2030. In order to achieve the SDGs, we must target those living in vulnerable situations, increasing access to basic resources and services, and support communities affected by conflict and climate-related disasters.

Ending poverty is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 1.

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The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund supports initiatives that tackle poverty from a multisectoral perspective and address the following dimensions:

  1. Create opportunities for good and decent jobs and secure livelihoods
  2. Support inclusive and sustainable business practices
  3. Promote better government policies and fair and accountable public institutions

For example,

  • In Bangladesh, women are often employed at the lower end of the productivity scale. The labor force participation of rural women is only 36.4% compared to 83.3% of men. Creating employment and income generating opportunities for women and enhancing their access to social protection is helping reduce their poverty and vulnerability. The SDG Fund’s programme is working in the Kurigram district in the Northwest and the Satkhira district in the coastal belt, both regions that are strongly affected by seasonal hunger and extreme poverty. More than 2,500 women have been employed through the programme and were able to open individual savings banking accounts.
  • In Côte d'Ivoire, the SDG Fund is working to reduce poverty by creating economic and job opportunities in the San Pedro region, particularly for women and youth. An integrated approach including training, engaging with the government and other leaders on reforming rural land tenure practices, and creating new income generating activities. The programme is helping increase vulnerable groups' access to information about their rights and providing them with legal assistance. The programme also focuses on ensuring food security and improving nutrition in the poorest households.
  • In Honduras, the SDG Fund supports the revitalization of the Lenca culture and micro-businesses led by women and youth. In the Lenca region, the SDG Fund backs training, business articulation, sustainable tourism promotion and international investment.
[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund supports initiatives that tackle poverty from a multisectoral perspective and address the following dimensions:

  1. Create opportunities for good and decent jobs and secure livelihoods
  2. Support inclusive and sustainable business practices
  3. Promote better government policies and fair and accountable public institutions

For example,

  • In Bangladesh, women are often employed at the lower end of the productivity scale. The labor force participation of rural women is only 36.4% compared to 83.3% of men. Creating employment and income generating opportunities for women and enhancing their access to social protection is helping reduce their poverty and vulnerability. The SDG Fund’s programme is working in the Kurigram district in the Northwest and the Satkhira district in the coastal belt, both regions that are strongly affected by seasonal hunger and extreme poverty. More than 2,500 women have been employed through the programme and were able to open individual savings banking accounts.
  • In Côte d'Ivoire, the SDG Fund is working to reduce poverty by creating economic and job opportunities in the San Pedro region, particularly for women and youth. An integrated approach including training, engaging with the government and other leaders on reforming rural land tenure practices, and creating new income generating activities. The programme is helping increase vulnerable groups' access to information about their rights and providing them with legal assistance. The programme also focuses on ensuring food security and improving nutrition in the poorest households.
  • In Honduras, the SDG Fund supports the revitalization of the Lenca culture and micro-businesses led by women and youth. In the Lenca region, the SDG Fund backs training, business articulation, sustainable tourism promotion and international investment.
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  • By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
  • 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
  • Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
  • 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
  • By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
  • Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions
  • Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions
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  • By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
  • 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
  • Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
  • 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
  • By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
  • Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions
  • Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions
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Economic growth has to be inclusive to ensure the wellbeing of the entire population. Inclusive growth requires full respect for human rights.

Inclusive growth generates decent jobs, gives opportunities for all segments of society, especially the most disadvantaged, and distributes the gains from prosperity more equally.

The first priority is to create opportunities for good and decent jobs and secure livelihoods for all. This will make growth inclusive and ensure that it reduces poverty and inequality. Better government policies, fair and accountable public institutions, and inclusive and sustainable business practices are essential parts of a Post-2015 agenda.

A second priority is to strive constantly to add value and raise productivity. Some fundamentals will accelerate growth everywhere:

  • Skills development
  • Supportive policies towards micro, small, and medium enterprises
  • The capacity to innovate and absorb new technologies
  • The ability to produce a higher quality and greater range of products
  • Infrastructure and other investments

Third, countries must establish a stable environment that enables business to flourish. Business wants a level playing field and to be connected to major markets. It also wants a simple regulatory framework that makes it easy to start, operate, and close a business. Small and medium firms that employ the most people are especially restricted by complicated regulations that can breed corruption.

Fourth, in order to bring new prosperity and new opportunities, growth must also usher in new ways to support sustainable consumption and production. It must also enable sustainable development.

The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund supports initiatives that tackle inclusive growth from a multisectoral perspective and address the following dimensions:

  1. Create opportunities for good and decent jobs and secure livelihoods
  2. Support inclusive and sustainable business practices
  3. Promote better government policies and fair and accountable public institutions

For example:

  • In Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, the SDG Fund will work with mineral extractive industries to generate economic growth and opportunities for the whole population. For example, in Mozambique, analysis indicates that the 5 largest projects in the country with an invesment of USD $3.4 billion, will generate only 33,000 direct jobs.
  • In Bangladesh and in Tanzania, the SDG Fund will contribute to the construction of the social protection systems and universal social safety nets, with special attention to the poorest women.
  • In Honduras the SDG-F will support the generation of income through the revitalization of the Lenca culture and the development of sustainable tourism micro businesses in the area, led by youth and women.
  • The armed conflict in Colombia has damaged production, institutions, food security, and social trust. Through the sustainable agricultural production of indigenous crops and their international commercialization, the SDG-F will create employment, ways of life, better nutrition, and, most importantly, peace in Cauca - one of the zones most affected by the long lasting conflict.
  • In Peru the SDG Fund will contribute to establishing an inclusive value chain in the production of quinoa and other Andean grains, so that the increase of demand in the international market can convert into economic and social improvements of currently vulnerable producers.



Current SDG Fund inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication programmes:

CountryProgramme TitleParticipating UN AgenciesTotal Budget  ($)
BangladeshStrengthening Women’s Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO)UNDP,  ILO

4,613,000

ColombiaProductive and food secured territories for a peaceful and resilient population in strategic ecosystems in CaucaUNDP, UN Women, FAO, WFP

3,281,152

EthiopiaGender Equality and Women Empowerment - Rural Women Economic EmpowermentUN Women, FAO, IFAD, WFP

3,000,000

HondurasPromotion of Culture and Tourism for Local Development in Ruta LencaUNDP, UN Women

2,919,427

Côte d'Ivoire

Poverty reduction in San Pedro region

UNDP, FAO, UNICEF, UNFPA

3,310,000

MozambiqueMore and better jobs in Cabo Delgado province and Nampula province - Harnessing the opportunities of the New Economy in MozambiqueILO, UNDP, UNIDO, UN Women

3,000,000

occupied Palestinian territoryCreating one-stop-shop to create sustainable businesses” on Inclusive Economic Growth.UN Women, FAO, ITC

3,000,000

Peru

Economic Inclusion and Sustainable Development of Andean Grain producers in rural areas of extreme poverty in Ayacucho and PunoILO, FAO, UNESCO

3,880,790

Sierra LeoneEnabling Sustainable Livelihoods Through Improved Natural Resource Governance and Economic Diversification in the Kono District, Sierra LeoneUNDP, FAO

3,002,000

TanzaniaJoint programme to support Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Nets (PSSN)UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, ILO

4,358,250

 

Total

34,364,619

Previous programmes:

Two of the MDG-F thematic windows encouraged practices related with inclusive growth, especially providing opportunities for the most vulnerable: youth, employment and migration and private sector and development. Some programmes on culture and development also tried to boost the economic potential of cultural industries to create livelihoods. Lessons learned from these programmes have been translated into a broader perspective on inclusive growth as a means of poverty reduction. 

[summary] => [format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

Economic growth has to be inclusive to ensure the wellbeing of the entire population. Inclusive growth requires full respect for human rights.

Inclusive growth generates decent jobs, gives opportunities for all segments of society, especially the most disadvantaged, and distributes the gains from prosperity more equally.

The first priority is to create opportunities for good and decent jobs and secure livelihoods for all. This will make growth inclusive and ensure that it reduces poverty and inequality. Better government policies, fair and accountable public institutions, and inclusive and sustainable business practices are essential parts of a Post-2015 agenda.

A second priority is to strive constantly to add value and raise productivity. Some fundamentals will accelerate growth everywhere:

  • Skills development
  • Supportive policies towards micro, small, and medium enterprises
  • The capacity to innovate and absorb new technologies
  • The ability to produce a higher quality and greater range of products
  • Infrastructure and other investments

Third, countries must establish a stable environment that enables business to flourish. Business wants a level playing field and to be connected to major markets. It also wants a simple regulatory framework that makes it easy to start, operate, and close a business. Small and medium firms that employ the most people are especially restricted by complicated regulations that can breed corruption.

Fourth, in order to bring new prosperity and new opportunities, growth must also usher in new ways to support sustainable consumption and production. It must also enable sustainable development.

The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund supports initiatives that tackle inclusive growth from a multisectoral perspective and address the following dimensions:

  1. Create opportunities for good and decent jobs and secure livelihoods
  2. Support inclusive and sustainable business practices
  3. Promote better government policies and fair and accountable public institutions

For example:

  • In Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, the SDG Fund will work with mineral extractive industries to generate economic growth and opportunities for the whole population. For example, in Mozambique, analysis indicates that the 5 largest projects in the country with an invesment of USD $3.4 billion, will generate only 33,000 direct jobs.
  • In Bangladesh and in Tanzania, the SDG Fund will contribute to the construction of the social protection systems and universal social safety nets, with special attention to the poorest women.
  • In Honduras the SDG-F will support the generation of income through the revitalization of the Lenca culture and the development of sustainable tourism micro businesses in the area, led by youth and women.
  • The armed conflict in Colombia has damaged production, institutions, food security, and social trust. Through the sustainable agricultural production of indigenous crops and their international commercialization, the SDG-F will create employment, ways of life, better nutrition, and, most importantly, peace in Cauca - one of the zones most affected by the long lasting conflict.
  • In Peru the SDG Fund will contribute to establishing an inclusive value chain in the production of quinoa and other Andean grains, so that the increase of demand in the international market can convert into economic and social improvements of currently vulnerable producers.

Current SDG Fund inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication programmes:

CountryProgramme TitleParticipating UN AgenciesTotal Budget  ($)
BangladeshStrengthening Women’s Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO)UNDP,  ILO

4,613,000

ColombiaProductive and food secured territories for a peaceful and resilient population in strategic ecosystems in CaucaUNDP, UN Women, FAO, WFP

3,281,152

EthiopiaGender Equality and Women Empowerment - Rural Women Economic EmpowermentUN Women, FAO, IFAD, WFP

3,000,000

HondurasPromotion of Culture and Tourism for Local Development in Ruta LencaUNDP, UN Women

2,919,427

Côte d'Ivoire

Poverty reduction in San Pedro region

UNDP, FAO, UNICEF, UNFPA

3,310,000

MozambiqueMore and better jobs in Cabo Delgado province and Nampula province - Harnessing the opportunities of the New Economy in MozambiqueILO, UNDP, UNIDO, UN Women

3,000,000

occupied Palestinian territoryCreating one-stop-shop to create sustainable businesses” on Inclusive Economic Growth.UN Women, FAO, ITC

3,000,000

Peru

Economic Inclusion and Sustainable Development of Andean Grain producers in rural areas of extreme poverty in Ayacucho and PunoILO, FAO, UNESCO

3,880,790

Sierra LeoneEnabling Sustainable Livelihoods Through Improved Natural Resource Governance and Economic Diversification in the Kono District, Sierra LeoneUNDP, FAO

3,002,000

TanzaniaJoint programme to support Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Nets (PSSN)UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, ILO

4,358,250

 

Total

34,364,619

Previous programmes:

Two of the MDG-F thematic windows encouraged practices related with inclusive growth, especially providing opportunities for the most vulnerable: youth, employment and migration and private sector and development. Some programmes on culture and development also tried to boost the economic potential of cultural industries to create livelihoods. Lessons learned from these programmes have been translated into a broader perspective on inclusive growth as a means of poverty reduction. 

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Economic growth is critical for poverty eradication.
Yet, an expanding economy does not mean that everyone benefits equally.

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Economic growth is critical for poverty eradication. Yet, an expanding economy does not mean that everyone benefits equally.

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In 2011-2012, resources were invested in the IFAD9 Impact Assessment Initiative (IFAD9 IAI) in order to: (i) explore methodologies to assess impact; (ii) measure – to the degree possible – the results and impacts of IFAD-financed activities; and (iii) summarize lessons learned and advise on rigorous and cost-effective approaches to attributing impact to IFAD interventions. The initiative reflects a recognition of IFAD’s responsibility to generate evidence of the success of IFAD-supported projects so as to learn lessons for the benefit of future projects. This paper describes the IFAD9 IAI and the range of methods that have been identified to broaden the evidence base for the estimation of IFAD impacts, and presents the results from the aggregation and projection methodology used to compute the Fund’s aggregate impact on key outcomes, while also highlighting what has been learned. The results show that there are many areas in which IFAD-supported project beneficiaries have had, on average, better outcomes in percentage terms as compared to comparison farmers who were not project beneficiaries. Specifically, IFAD-supported projects are effectively poverty-reducing: when choosing durable asset indexes as the preferred poverty proxies on the grounds that they better approximate long-run wealth, findings point to statistically significant gains. Overall, the analyses strongly imply that IFAD is effectively improving the well-being of rural people in terms of asset accumulation, and higher revenue and income. The IFAD9 IAI represents a pioneering research effort, which has tried to overcome the clear challenges of designing data collection and conducting ex post impact assessments in a context where data were scarce, with a view to measuring progress towards a global accountability goal over a very short period of time. Therefore, an important recommendation is that future impact assessments should be selected and designed ex ante, and structured to facilitate and maximize learning, rather than used solely as an instrument to prove accountability. [format] => [safe_value] => In recent years, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has increasingly strengthened its focus on achieving and measuring results. In 2011-2012, resources were invested in the IFAD9 Impact Assessment Initiative (IFAD9 IAI) in order to: (i) explore methodologies to assess impact; (ii) measure – to the degree possible – the results and impacts of IFAD-financed activities; and (iii) summarize lessons learned and advise on rigorous and cost-effective approaches to attributing impact to IFAD interventions. The initiative reflects a recognition of IFAD’s responsibility to generate evidence of the success of IFAD-supported projects so as to learn lessons for the benefit of future projects. This paper describes the IFAD9 IAI and the range of methods that have been identified to broaden the evidence base for the estimation of IFAD impacts, and presents the results from the aggregation and projection methodology used to compute the Fund’s aggregate impact on key outcomes, while also highlighting what has been learned. The results show that there are many areas in which IFAD-supported project beneficiaries have had, on average, better outcomes in percentage terms as compared to comparison farmers who were not project beneficiaries. Specifically, IFAD-supported projects are effectively poverty-reducing: when choosing durable asset indexes as the preferred poverty proxies on the grounds that they better approximate long-run wealth, findings point to statistically significant gains. Overall, the analyses strongly imply that IFAD is effectively improving the well-being of rural people in terms of asset accumulation, and higher revenue and income. The IFAD9 IAI represents a pioneering research effort, which has tried to overcome the clear challenges of designing data collection and conducting ex post impact assessments in a context where data were scarce, with a view to measuring progress towards a global accountability goal over a very short period of time. 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