Monitoring & Evaluation
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) has long been recognized as a vital aspect of development projects generally, and of agriculture and rural development projects in particular. The monitoring of project performance consists of the tracking of human, physical, and financial resources and the recording of how they are converted into outputs (project goods and services), and in turn, outcomes and impacts.
The GAFSP M&E Plan reflects the strong results-oriented nature of the GAFSP fund. It highlights key features of the program, including the development of common indicators to enable monitoring of results across projects, and the widespread use of rigorous impact evaluations for all GAFSP investment projects.
All GAFSP projects will undergo some form of Impact Evaluation (IE) or assessment upon completion of the project. For a select group of projects approved by the Steering Committee, an 'in-depth' IE will be conducted (e.g., evaluations using experimental or quasi-experimental methods). The IEs for these GAFSP projects should be carried out by a recognized research entity with a track record of conducting such statistically rigorous studies. This group could include universities, research organizations such as the World Bank’s DIME initiative, IFPRI, regional technical organizations, or initiatives such as 3IE's expert roster, to offer some examples. For the remainder of GAFSP projects, alternate or more rapid methods will be considered sufficient as part of a clear effort to assess project impact.
GAFSP is rolling out a revised M&E system that introduces compatibility with SDG indicators across implementing agencies, covering both the private and public sectors. Overall, GAFSP places great importance on M&E and learning—all GAFSP projects undergo an impact evaluation, using either in-depth experimental or quasi-experimental methods or using more rapid assessment methods. We contribute to global knowledge, learning by doing, and evidence generation across the portfolio through extensive M&E, including innovative impact evaluations of both Public and Private Sector Window projects. For the Public Sector Window, GAFSP funds in-depth impact evaluations of one-third of the portfolio to contribute to conversations with governments and stakeholders about policy or project design, to guide project and Program mid-course corrections, support adoption across countries and actors, and share the information with a broader audience.
For the Private Sector Window, the impact evaluation results indicated that subsidizing the sale of inputs can be more sustainable than free distribution when subsidized sales are able to both ensure quality inputs to support agricultural production and promote awareness of the related quality benefits. GAFSP Private Sector Window investments aim to achieve high development impact through both financial investment support and advisory projects that build capacity and provide training and tools.
The Private Sector Window launched three impact evaluations and poverty assessments in Rwanda, Malawi, and Cameroon throughout 2017. In addition, a stand-alone poverty assessment for Sofitex was conducted in Burkina Faso. These studies use rigorous evaluation designs and probability-based sampling methods to ensure validity and credibility.