International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-supported operations in Nigeria have improved the livelihood of rural poor people.
This was contained in the evaluation report of the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) released in Abuja. The report said development projects supported by IFAD in Nigeria have been effective in improving the livelihoods of rural poor people and strengthening their food production systems in a number of impoverished remote communities.
According to the report which was presented recently in Abuja by the IOE Lead Evaluation Officer, Ms Johanna Pennarz, the projects reached 9.2 million people out of the 14.2 million targeted. The report covered from 2009-2015.
The main objectives of the evaluation were to assess the results and performance of the IFAD-Government partnership in reducing rural poverty and to generate findings and recommendations for the future partnership between IFAD and Nigeria.
The single most important achievement according to the evaluation findings was the creation of community-based organizations which enabled local governments to channel funding into otherwise hard-to-reach places. These committees continue to play an active role planning community infrastructure and managing community assets in a sustainable way, in particular in northern Nigeria.
Oscar A. Garcia, Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation said a missing partner, particularly in the earlier IFAD-supported operations, has been the private sector. Its involvement is crucial given the move towards markets and processing across the portfolio.
“It is necessary to mobilize a range of public-private partnerships around fertilizer, seeds and processing in line with the approach stipulated by Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA),” he noted.
Speaking also, Ides de Willebois, Director of IFAD’s West and Central Africa Division said the evaluation has allowed IFAD to reflect on the impact of its work in areas such as community-driven development.
IOE’s independent evaluations assess the impact of IFAD-funded activities and give an analysis of successes and shortcomings to tell it the way it is as well as identify factors affecting performance.