A small contribution in response to the big and big question raised by Hynda about the constraints on evaluations of rural development or food security projects. It is difficult to exhaust the subject in this context ...
- A major constraint is the lack or quality of studies on the baseline situation in project intervention areas. When these studies are not done in the state of the art (good diagnosis, complete analysis of the starting situation with the participation of men and women), the evaluation afterwards is not easy. It is an essential step when one wants to work in a perspective of qualitative change of a given situation because it makes it possible to orient the actions and to make a relevant choice of the actions and the actors and actresses ...
- As part of the monitoring of the progress of an agricultural development project in a region in Burkina some years ago, the project identified poultry farming, among other things, as an income generating activity for women. This activity never flourished in the localities chosen simply because culturally it is an activity always devolved to men to preserve the harmony in the families ... A good diagnosis and a good analysis at the beginning would have made it possible to choose socially accepted activities or to think about strategies to help make the changes necessary for the well-being of all.
- Another difficulty is the formulation of quantitative and qualitative indicators: indicators, when they exist, do not always make it possible to measure progress or changes induced by interventions at the community level. Gender issues: this theme is often forgotten or added to project documents as an attachment; which does not facilitate evaluations. We have already talked about it earlier with this group (https://dgroups.org/?8cvm4jpt ). Gender is a cross-cutting issue and should be taken care of from the beginning of the project formulation process. This is a very important issue in our countries in Africa where women contribute 70% to 80% of agricultural and vegetable production.
- Another constraint is the time allocated to the evaluation and the budget allocated for this purpose: in the formulation of projects, there are not enough resources for monitoring and evaluation. This is detrimental to the successful completion of this activity, which is very important for the proper implementation and achievement of the objectives of the interventions.
My modest contribution on this subject.