Mid-Term Review of the programme “Agriculture for food security 2030 – translating science into policy and practice (AgriFoSe2030)

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This assignment was a Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the programme Agriculture for food security, AgriFoSe2030 – translating science into policy and practice, 2018.

The review covered the period from the start of the programme in 2015 (de facto start in 2016) until August 2018 and focused on assessing the functionality of the programme and on providing recommendations for the remaining period until December 2019 and for a possible future phase. The review was focused on ensuring utilisation, by involving consultation with stakeholders throughout the review process, and it is theory-based in the sense that the programme impact pathway has been reviewed and validated. The MTR was conducted in line with the OECD/DAC Guidelines on Quality Standards for Development Evaluation, using largely qualitative methods (document review and 36 semi-structured interviews), with a quantitative element (web survey of 104 AgriFoSe2030 participants).

The evaluation concluded that most targets at the output level would either be exceeded or reached. At individual level outcomes were evident regarding change in approaches to teaching, research and outreach. In terms of quality, the review concludes that this has been high for courses, with some question marks for the quality of some communication outputs, at least in terms of their relevance for particular interactions with policy-makers and practitioners. It was clear that there had been learning from this over time, with Themes and consequently sub-projects becoming more and more relevant to end users. AgriFoSe2030 should as such be seen as an experimental/pilot phase where the Swedish institutions have learned about the science-policy-practice interface just as much as the participants.

However, the program had some weaknesses, and at this stage, there was not enough evidence at outcome level and no evidence at impact level (SDG2 to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) to allow an assessment of which of the AgriFoSe2030 models or approaches applied is more effective. Therefore, in a future phase, the programme would need to develop a more coherent strategy and impact pathway, taking a decision about how to leverage the investment so far to reach more sustained outcomes and impacts.

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