Evidence-Based Programming – Updates from the Research
Evidence-informed programming is ever becoming important for the development industry as a tool to lift people out of poverty around the world. Consequently, the need for data and evidence is growing stronger as we race towards the attainment of the global development goals by 2030. PDA is committed to contributing to meeting this ever-growing need through research, evaluation and learning across a range of critical socioeconomic sectors. Below is a rundown of what the REL team has been working on recently towards this commitment.
Impact Evaluation of Root Capital’s Agricultural Investment in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire
Root Capital invests in local agricultural businesses to grow rural prosperity. PDA is currently providing impact evaluation and learning services to understand how Root Capital’s investments are impacting on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in West Africa. The baseline was conducted in 2017 with 4 agribusinesses in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The end-line is currently ongoing in Ghana with 2 agribusinesses.
Generating evidence for deepening financial inclusion at the base through VSLAs
Ghana is one of the African countries with an established presence of the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) concept as an attempt to combat poverty through collective action. PDA, in partnership with Nestle Cocoa Plan, Cocoanect and Cocoa Merchants Limited implemented a pilot VSLA project in 2 cocoa districts in the Ashanti Region of Ghana from 2018 to 2019. PDA’s REL team provided effective monitoring and learning support to generate credible evidence for scaleup and sustainability of the project. PDA is also currently providing monitoring, evaluation and learning support to an expanded phase of the program in about 100 communities with integration of child labor remediation tools. The VSLA/CHILD project is in partnership with Cocoanect and Kookoo Pa (KKP) and is expected to span a period of four (4) years.
Cocoa Nutrition Innovation in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire
The Cocoa Nutrition Innovation (CNI) Project is an intervention by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), which aims to improve the nutritional status of households in cocoa-growing communities. The program also focuses on training smallholder farmers on diverse eating and continuous production of seasonal foods, with the aim of causing a positive change in their consumption of diverse foods and balanced diets. The Ghana project was implemented by Lindt, Touton and Hershey in selected cocoa-growing communities in 2019. The Cote d’Ivoire version of the CNI runs from 2019 to 2020 and is in collaboration with IDH, Cargill and Care International Cote d’Ivoire. PDA is providing monitoring, evaluation, learning and quality assurances support to the program in both countries. To achieve this, our able team of researchers travel to the field every week to observe training and to gather evidence on progress and relevance of the intervention to the target population. It is envisaged that, in the end, this will lead to a better understanding on how to effectively integrate nutrition interventions to company delivery modules.
I Am Aware Monitoring and Evaluation Support
‘I Am Aware’ (IAA) is a social accountability initiative being implemented in Ghana by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD Ghana) in collaboration with partner civil society organizations and funding from the Hewlett Foundation. IAA is thus a citizen empowerment initiative which seeks to provide the citizenry with user-friendly information on the state of service delivery in their districts to promote demand for quality services and accountability. PDA’s role on the current phase of the IAA focuses on monitoring, evaluation and learning to augment the project’s effective implementation. This includes the development of outcome mapping framework, development of CAPI monitoring systems/platforms for real-time data capturing, processing and visualization. PDA also carries out periodic field monitoring and rapid evaluation of the project’s progress indicators.