Thank you, Johanna and Prashanth for presenting the evaluation results despite the remoteness challenges to deliver a participatory approach, I enjoy reading. During the pandemic, our organization also face the same situation in less remote areas like Kalimantan and Sulawesi, then forced us to improvise by hiring local consultants to conduct field activities.
Learning from the article and understanding the PNPM project involved abroad range of actors and introduced a new approach of development as we used to (after more than 20 years of Soeharto regime), the community-driven development program probably need baby steps in promoting community participation. Across Indonesia, building community-based institutions outside Bali and Java remain challenges, government-based supports institution at the village level able to sustain because of the continued support from the central government, re. village fund. Despite the growing number of administrative governments (re. new provinces, districts, and villages), good governance is still far from the expectation, the new administrative office is highly dependent on national supports while the community-based development requires some time to transforming, evolving and growing.
So I agree that people-centered indicators are necessary to assess for results of the bottom-up development approach before looking at the in-situ development. Indonesian often perceived development as establishing infrastructure, roads, electricity, schools, etc, this perception also reflecting the national development policy focus across different sectors.
Greeting from Indonesia.
I agree with Lewis and Abubakar,
1-2. Most of the evaluation in development projects is carried out by an individual or a team, a team usually represents an evaluation consultancy organization. During the Covid19 pandemic, the evaluation becomes more flexible in terms of outsourcing some of the evaluation activities to the local individual or a team due to limited mobilization. For example, conducting field data collection and inputting data, after online intensive training on how to carry the field works. Thus, the main responsibility such as managing the evaluation, analysis, and reporting remains in the hand of hired consultants or consultancy organizations.
3. For the evaluation the funding remains the same, depending on who needs the evaluation, and for what purpose. In the project, the evaluation funds usually very small (re. less than 5% of the total project budget), so usually the evaluation process also involved the data collection from the evaluated project internal monitoring system and using more less-rigorous methodologies or expensive activities.
4. The challenge to outsourcing some of the evaluation activities was 1). how to ensure the quality of data collections and inputs, 2). how to balance the client expectation vs onsite reality, also 3). During the pandemic, the target isolated region become another challenge to access target respondents with limited communication infrastructure.
Please see my response in the italics on some of your questions.
Do we actually see a shift in the way young people are included in agriculture? I agree that we cannot classify all youth as the same and there are, in every country, young people who are naturally drawn to working on the land and are passionate and skilled. These are valuable and inherent in any agriculture community.
In Indonesia, there is a shift of young people involved in agriculture. For example in cash crops sectors, with a range of sustainability initiatives our young generation are more involving in the supporting services, such as delivering extension services and traceability system, creating online market application for agri-inputs and crops, as extension agent for micro-finance, etc. Considering the support services become more technological oriented, involving the young generation in such support easily attracted their interest.
Yet, rural communities tend to be shrinking as the other young people leave for other opportunities. Many will not find those opportunity and end up unemployed in cities. If we are serious about the SDGs, particularly 2, 8 and 11, can all these learnings, from all these evaluations not be scaled up to make a re-investment of youth in agriculture. The above mentioned synthesis of IFAD makes this point. It says it is now time to scale up efforts based on ten years of learning.
The private sectors-food industry started to invest in young people like provide internship of vocational student in their organisation, expand the focus to improve business and technical skills for the young rural generation. Allowing-facilitating the industry to access the formal academic curriculum create a bridging path for the labour supply and demand in the food industry especially.
Dear Mustafa and Natalia,
From my experience, sometimes it is difficult to make a difference between the Output and Outcome that may depend on the nature of project. The easy way to identify is that the Output is usually the *Immediate Result* of the intervention(s), like how may beneficiaries have received the training or access to support system. While the Outcome is usually the *Result of* Behavior Changes that can be measured or observable like the improved business productivity, increased profits, and business cost reduction.
Yes, like Natalia mentioned, the Output is controllable by the project staff and it may be short-term. Meanwhile the Outcome is usually medium-term because of the cumulative change practices results, so it takes more time to see the result of the changes.
Hope it helps,