Working in collaboration with the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and The Improve Group, the SBC is conducting a two-year evaluation to determine the sustainability of three completed Food for Progress projects. In these sustainability assessments, the group will be identifying if, and to what extent, Food for Progress development activities and recommended practices have been sustained since the project's end, and what practices growers have or plan to continue.
While Food for Progress projects aim to strengthen the agricultural sectors of developing countries and emerging democracies by improving agricultural productivity and expanding trade of agricultural products, it can be difficult to determine if the activities started by these projects continued after the program ended. In order to shape future Food for Progress activities, three Food for Progress projects were chosen (one each in Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Benin), and the SBC, along with their evaluation partners at The Improve Group, will explore the following questions related to these three completed projects:
- What existing conditions are needed for sustainability?
- What factors of the project’s design lead to sustainability?
- What factors about the implementation lead to sustainability?
- To what extent have project activities or (knowledge, attitude, behavior) continued?
- To what extent have project impacts (positive or negative) continued?
The projects being evaluated
This project focused on increasing agricultural knowledge and improving the livelihoods of agricultural producers in rural communities in Guatemala. Counterpart International sought to achieve this by improving the capacity Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture's formal extension agents and certified non-governmental agricultural advisers, expanding the financial services available to agricultural producers, and increasing the organizational capacity of local cooperatives representing smallholder producers.
This project led by World Vision International focused on training farmers and farmer leaders in “Integrated Farming and Sustainable Agriculture” technology. This included improving soil fertility, integrated pest management, and improving animal husbandry and aquaculture practices. Objectives of this project included improving production and marketing capacity, and business development skills for farmers.
The Growing Resources for the Enhanced Agricultural Enterprises and Nutrition (GREEN) project, led by Partners for Development worked with Beninese farmers’ associations to train vegetable growers in improved production techniques and postharvest management, and provided access to financial services while improving understanding of market-driven production.