PDA is part of a consortium led by ITAD in the UK which has been tasked by DFID to undertake an independent evaluation of the MV Project in northern Ghana. PDA is leading the qualitative aspects of the evaluation. The MV model provides an integrated package of interventions to lift a group of rural communities out of poverty. Its central hypothesis is that a local ‘big push’ addressing the most immediate capital deficiencies in communities and households is a necessary condition for reaching a threshold required to move towards local resilience and self-sustaining economic growth. Key to this is improved agricultural productivity and market development, enabling people in rural areas to save and accumulate wealth, stimulating investment and diversification into non-farm work.
The MV projects across Africa have set up comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems. These are used to continually assess progress and adapt implementation mechanisms. The datasets produced have also fed into MV reports, including on results achieved. However, there is a noticeable gap in evidence of the model’s overall effectiveness. The MVP has been criticized for the lack of independent rigorous evaluation.
DFID has agreed with the implementers that funding for a new MV in northern Ghana will be accompanied by an independent evaluation to provide robust evidence on the effectiveness of the MV approach. The evaluation includes generating, analysing and quality assuring data, producing reports, and widely disseminating the results of the evaluation. The baseline for the impact evaluation was conducted in 2012-2013, the mid-term evaluation is taking place in 2014-2015 with an end-of-term evaluation in 2016-2017.