Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation, India
The Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) conducted a country strategy and programme evaluation (CSPE) in the in India in 2023. IFAD is an international financial institution and specialized agency of the United Nations. IFAD's operations are primarily financed by member state contributions, loan repayments, investment income and special contributions from non-member states.
The main objectives of the CSPE were to: (i) assess the results and performance of the IFAD strategy and programme in India; and (ii) generate findings and recommendations for the future partnership between IFAD and the Government of India for enhanced development effectiveness and rural poverty eradication. The evaluation was conducted in accordance with the IFAD Evaluation Policy, Evaluation Manual (2015 second edition or revised edition, which includes OECD/DAC criteria), as well as the CSPE approach paper detailing evaluation methodologies.
The evaluation covered the period 2016 – 2022, including the major loan projects (13 projects with IFAD financing of US$737 million) as well as grants, knowledge management, partnership building and policy engagement; as well as considering the overall country strategy. The major focus of the work has been on the topics of sustainable agriculture and agricultural value chains/access to markets; natural resources management and climate change adaptation; community mobilisation for social empowerment (particularly with reference to community-based financial institutions and linkages to banks, including NABARD and commercial banks); gender equality and women's empowerment; and inclusion of disadvantaged groups and youth.
The work began with recruitment of the local team, desk study, document analysis and extensive online interviews and meetings. An extensive CSPE field mission took place May – June 2023, along with a debriefing – followed up with further interviews and data analysis, workshops with stakeholders and peer review. The CSPE team comprised seven members, the lead evaluator (IOE senior evaluation officer) and the co-team leader/international consultant, supported by four national consultants with different expertise and a junior analyst.