Monitoring Report Monitoring reference Report date Project title
MR-146051.01 04/06/2013 Increased Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods for Poor and Marginalized Households in Western Bahr El Ghazal State, South Sudan
I. Intervention data Status Report final date Report finalised by user Monitoring Report Type Aid Modality Project Project Management Financed via a thematic budget line CRIS Number Project Title according to Financing Agreement/Financing Decision
FINAL 06/06/2013 ALVAREZ TIRAPU VALENTIN Ongoing Project approach Single Country / National Projec Project managed by the Delegatio Yes C-290717 Increased Food Security and Sustainable Livelihoods for Poor and Marginalized Households in Western Bahr El Ghazal State, South Sudan Development - Food Security 52010 - Food aid/Food security programmes 52010 - Food aid/Food security programmes South Sudan
Domain DAC - CRS Sector Additional DAC - CRS code Geographical zone Keyword (for innovative interventions) Date Financing Agreement/Financing 10/07/2012 Decision/Contract signed Person responsible at HQ
Person responsible at Delegation Monitor Project Authority Type of implementing partner Start date - planned End date - planned Start date - actual End date - likely Monitoring visit date
GIRLANDO PAOLO RALL Martin Cooperatie ICCO UA International NGO/CSOs/Universities (at EU and international level) 07/04/2012 06/04/2015 07/04/2012 06/04/2015 29/04/2013 10/05/2013 from to
II. Financial data Primary commitment (EC funding) Budget allocated for TA Secondary commitment (funds contracted of EC contribution) Other funding (government and/or other donors) Total budget of operation Total EC funds disbursed Financial data on 06/06/2013
1,100,000 Not Available 1,100,000 137,374 1,237,374 392,492 31/03/2013 Page 1 / 4
III. Grading Relevance and quality of design Efficiency of Implementation to date Effectiveness to date Impact prospects Potential sustainability
A B B B B
IV. Summary of conclusions Relevance and quality of design The project remains highly relevant to the needs of the target communities as most households remain severely food insecure. It is also generally very well designed. It is fully aligned with both national and state government policies and strategies, namely the rural development pillar of the 2011-2013 South Sudan Development Plan (SSDP), and the 5 year strategic plan of the State Government, which prioritises agricultural production by, amongst other measures, strengthening the extension services of the State Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Irrigation (SMoAF&I). The project provides an opportunity to contribute to policy by demonstrating effective and sustainable models of support to subsistence and smallholder farmers. The action supports the EU's strategy in South Sudan which is to support the implementation of the SSDP. The logframe (LF) of the project is generally of a high quality, reflecting well the intervention logic. In order to achieve the Overall Objective (OO) of reducing malnutrition, two Specific Objectives (SOs) have been defined to address two of the main causes of malnutrition, namely food insecurity at household level and weak capability of local institutions to address food security problems. Four Results (Rs) represent the components of the project's strategy, namely: increased production of staple crops, diversification of crops, improved marketing system and increased capacity of local institutions. Appropriate activities have been designed. The design of the project reflects a sound understanding by the ICCO-led consortium of both this kind of rural development project and the local context. The resources allocated to the project, including staff, appear to be adequate. The time available (3 years) is also likely to be sufficient, although ideally this should include three growing seasons (June-Nov). Unfortunately, due to the timing of project approval and contract signing, the first season was missed and the project started in July. Although the consortium includes small local NGOs and the Faculty of Agriculture of the Catholic University (CUoSS-FAES), which could weaken its capacity, there is a strong capacity building component and the staff of the NGOs are experienced. Besides, the use of only local staff results in a cost effective human resources component (only 22% of the total budget). The risk analysis of the project is appropriate and reflected in the assumptions in the LF. The inclusion by the EU Delegation (EUDel) of an Inception Phase (an excellent innovation) provides an early opportunity for the project to adapt to any changes identified in the baseline study. This study made it possible to quantify more accurately the targets of the OVIs, and improve the OVIs. They are thus SMART, although those for R4 (capacity building) do not actually measure increased capacity. Although relatively complex, the implementation arrangements, roles and responsibilities seem to be clearly understood by all. All have participated fully in the original design and in the inception phase, including in the baseline study; this is a notable feature of this project. Governance and transparency are promoted through the project steering committee (PSC) which is chaired by the SMoAF&I and co-chaired by a Payam Administrator. Donor coordination is effected through existing forums and committees at State level. Efficiency of Implementation to date Most activities have been implemented as scheduled, or with minor delays that can be corrected in the short term. The team has been efficient in identifying the reasons for delays and addressing them. Progress is as follows: R1 (staple crops): On track - farmer groups formed, training started, ploughs being procured, seeds procured locally and ready for distribution, cassava stalks being sourced. R2 (diversification): Vegetable demo gardens (5) developed and training well advanced. Chickens distributed. R3 (marketing): Planned for later this year. R4 (capacity building): Several courses run already; needs analysis of government being done; delay in University component, but catching up. After 25% of time elapsed from the actual start date, expenditure was at 26%. A comprehensive M&E system was designed in a fully participatory way, with the help of a consultant, and staff were trained on its application. Progress is reviewed in consortium team meetings and in the meetings of the PSC. In spite of delays in the transfer of funds from ICCO in the Netherlands to the local partners, due to the international banking embargo, and some procurement delays due to delays in approval by government of exemption of import duties (e.g. vehicles) this has not seriously 06/06/2013
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affected progress. Partners were able to compensate by advancing their own funds and using their own vehicles. In fact, the project was able to get going remarkably quickly and by the second quarter field activities were well under way. Funds are managed by each partner on an imprest basis and staff have all been trained in EU procedures and financial management in general and seem to be performing well. Financial data looks acceptable, without serious anomalies, although clarity is needed on whether the project should be charging for staff and operating costs incurred prior to the actual start date. The excellent communication with stakeholders is one of the several outstanding aspects of this project. Through involving all stakeholders from the start in the design phase, through the inception phase and baseline study and now on the PSC, while involving government even in some of the activities, inter-institutional coordination is excellent and facilitates implementation considerably. Effectiveness to date It is still early for much progress to be observed in achieving the Results and SOs, but prospects appear to be good. In relation to the targets in the OVIs the following was noted: R1 (staple crops): OVIs relate to increased area cultivated and yields achieved, which can only be measured after first cropping season. Based on the activities implemented to date the prospects appear to be reasonable. R2 (diversification): It is also too early here for any impact yet, but prospects are positive. R3 (marketing): Planned for later this year. R4 (capacity building): Several courses have been given already and progress is on track. The target groups are positive about progress so far and are optimistic about improving their livelihoods. Progress in achieving SO 1 (improved food security and nutrition) can only be judged after the 2013 harvest, towards the end of the year. Progress with SO 2 (capacity building of institutions) is on track and some impact can already be observed in relation to the University. CAD field staff seem to be weak and a specially targeted intervention may be necessary.
Impact prospects It is also still too early (before the first cropping season has even started) for the project to have made any impact at the level of the OO (reducing malnutrition). However, on the same basis that a positive prediction was made, above, about the prospects of achieving the SOs, the same applies to the OO. Of course, external factors such as the amount of rainfall received, the security situation, etc, will have a major bearing, but it is not possible to venture any predictions. EU visibility is still low, in spite of staff having been trained on the EU guidelines. Potential sustainability The project's financial sustainability strategy is based essentially on strengthening self reliance at household level through increased agricultural production and marketing, supported indirectly by strengthened local institutions for sustainability. After the project ends (and even before that) farmers will need to be able to afford to replace tools and ploughs, and acquire seeds, either through saving enough of each harvest, or being able to supplement what they save by buying from neighbours and/or local markets. It is a sound strategy, provided the project achieves its objectives. The main external factors most likely to undermine sustainability are beyond the control of the project, i.e. climate, security and macro economic factors. The technologies being introduced by the project are all very simple and affordable, in principle, although plough spares are not available on the local market. The project is very well aware of the issue of sustainability and the need for a sound economic phase-out strategy, and seems to be doing all that is practically possible to address the issue. As already noted, one of the notable features of the project is the high level of ownership that it has managed to generate amongst both farmers and government institutions. Although the SMoAFI does not have the resources at present to establish an extension service, there is a reasonable chance of it starting to do so within the life of the project, and certainly it intends to do so as soon as possible. The project has been designed with a significant capacity development component, from training of farmers and building group capacity, to strengthening the local NGOs members of the implementing consortium, to building the capacity of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University, and assisting government to understand and carry out its planning, monitoring and support functions. In this way the project will be as embedded in local structures as it practically feasible. Key observations and recommendations This is generally a well designed and implemented project with good prospects for impact and sustainability. The following recommendations are made to the ICCO consortium to fine tune some aspects: 1) Improve the Inception Rider by: a) adjusting the start date to the actual start date, b) putting back the 06/06/2013
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original OVIs for the OO in the revised LF, c) improving the OVIs for R4, e.g. by targeting levels of capacity to be attained, based on defining competencies for each level with the different institutions and using a score card approach, d) revising the budget to take into account actual costs incurred and better estimates of expected costs (e.g. ploughs), and e) developing a detailed revised work plan for the second year. 2) Check with the EUDel whether it is correct for the project to have charged for staff and operating costs incurred prior to activities actually starting in July 2012. 3) Train all field staff on agronomy. 4) Implement additional capacity building measures for CAD, especially of field staff. 5) When reporting to the PSC, include basic financial data. 6) Investigate the availability of inputs like plough spares and vegetable seeds on the local market and the feasibility of any support to importers and/or traders. 7) Provide technical support to farmers trained to grow vegetables to establish their own gardens with water sources, possibly through forming small groups of 2-5 neighbours, and to process and store seeds. 8) Improve EU visibility.
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Published on Jul 8, 2013
A report monitoring the progress of the ICCO Food Security and Sustainable Living project operating in Western Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan t...