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2016 SFOAP Mid-Term Review Report

The Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the SFOAP was undertaken between March and June 2015 to review the performance and progress of the Programme main phase, with a view to propose measures to improve performance, contribute to lessons learning and take stock of best practices.

It was ensured through a five step process consisting in: (i) a self-assessment by RFOs to bring out achievements and challenges and to provide orientations to the MTR; (ii) visits by a team of IFAD Consultants to the five regional Secretariats including the participation of a group of national members. When possible meetings with country representatives from the EU, IFAD, SDC and AFD were also organised; (iii) an exchange at the global level during the 2015 Steering Committee (SC) meeting organised by PROPAC in Yaoundé from 1 to 3 June 2015 back to back with a continental knowledge management (KM) workshop, to discuss the MTR findings and recommendations. Outcomes from the SC were included by IFAD in the draft of the MTR report; (iv) further exchanges among stakeholders in December 2015 for the finalisation and adoption of the MTR report in February 2016.

The MTR global assessment of programme implementation was satisfactory. SFOAP resources have contributed to strengthening internal dynamics in the five regional networks and the budget support approach has enabled the development of a rich diversity of strategies and instruments designed to improve the relevance and capacity of FOs to respond to members’ needs. 

The financing of core costs, capacity building and communication (Component 1) has consolidated the good achievements of the pilot phase. It has had important multiplier effects by facilitating FOs involvement in increasingly complex policy processes and by leveraging additional resource mobilisation to the benefit of whole famers’ communities.

Component 1 contributed to support FOs core functions with the financing of the costs of 100 staff at the national and regional level, the organisation of over 55 training and 26 governing meetings as well as the annual audits of NFOs and RFOs Several tools and strategies were also deployed to build members’ capacities, support exchanges and knowledge management and strengthening the relationships between RFOs and NFOs and among NFOs. Such activities enabled FOs to improve their democratic functioning and governance, to strengthen their professionalization and to ensure their daily functions helping them to pursue their mandates.

SFOAP main phase has consolidated FOs abilities to engage into policy development (Component 2), including the ability to systematically organise members’ consultations, develop closer relationships with regional economic organisations, analyse, challenge and contribute to national policies.

FOs abilities are reflected in their increased participation in policy events and their ability to engage in increasingly complex processes involving both the regional and the national level. Examples can be found in: (i) EAFF remarkable and successful experience brining to the voting and approval of their Cooperatives Bill by the Legislative Assembly of the East African Community; (ii) the regional financial mechanism for agriculture financing promoted by ROPPA involving the two regional economic organisations in Western Africa; (iii) activities implemented by PROPAC for the preparation of a Declaration on land management and the containment of land grabbing; (iv) the preparation of a comprehensive programme on women and youth mobilisation and the issuance of regional policy statement by SACAU.

Achievements are more limited for Component 3. This can be partially explained by the fact that the start-up of activities under this new component was challenging in terms of overall set up and time was needed for preparatory work and of mutual understanding between IFAD and RFOs on eligible activities. Implementation modalities and tools are now available and Component 3 disbursement has started or should soon start taking off.

Component 4 has suffered delays in terms of programme implementation as PAFO’s Secretariat is not yet established. The recent recruitment of PAFO’s CEO and the upcoming installation of the secretariat in Addis Ababa should soon bring implementation on track. 

IFAD has been playing its role of supervision and global coordination (Component 5). Annual supervision missions were successfully held in 2013 and 2014 covering more than 15 countries. The channelling of funds has also improved since the pilot phase thanks to measures worked out by IFAD with the financiers.

With regard to sustainability, RFOs and NFOs are well aware of the need to develop financial autonomy and are looking for alternative, less donor-dependent sources of financing, including fees for services, commercially-oriented subsidiaries, public subsidies from regional economic organisations and national governments and partnerships with the private sector.  

Please consult the MTR report in English and French.

Document type: Programme Documents
Thematic Areas: Access to Services, Capacity Building, Knowledge Management, Markets and Value chains, Monitoring and Evaluation, Policy Dialogue, Strategic planning / Communication
Region: PAN Africa
Year of Publication: 2016