Reviewing our impact halfway through our 2017-2021 programme

Reviewing our impact halfway through our 2017-2021 programme

Tom Van den Steen
Tom Van den Steen
Programme Advisor Planning, Learning & Accountability

Every three to five years, Rikolto assesses the impact of its programmes, to check whether our interventions have the desired effect, and to learn where we fail and need to adapt our approach. These impact assessments consist of an intensive process of data collection and interviews with members of the farmers’ organisations and different stakeholders.

Currently, we are over halfway through our five-year 2017-2021 programme funded by DGD, the Directorate General for Development of the Belgian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In 2019, Rikolto engaged in the mid-term review of our programme across 13 countries: Belgium, DR Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Indonesia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru, Vietnam, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. Our activities in Benin, Guatemala and Ghana are funded with other means, just as other programmes that our regional offices implement, which were not subject of the mid-term reviews in the frame of our DGD-funded programme.

The objective of this mid-term review was two-fold:

  1. To feed discussions on the strategic orientation of Rikolto beyond 2021;
  2. To orient the last two years of programme implementation.

What kind of impact are we talking about?

In the context of our work, impact touches on the following domains:

  • Improved livelihoods of smallholder farmers (m/f);
  • Improved business and organisational capacities of targeted farmer organisations;
  • Improved institutional environment (public/private policies, regulations, laws, etc.) for inclusive and sustainable sub-sectors and inclusive modern markets.

In relation to these domains, the mid-term review looked into three fundamental questions:

  1. Which changes do you observe at outcome level and to which extent has Rikolto’s intervention contributed to these changes? Rikolto works with partners (farmer organisations, buyers, service providers, consumer organisations) to make our food systems sustainable and inclusive. Have the capacities of these partners changed and what was the role of Rikolto therein? In other words, were our interventions effective in bringing about the change they aspired to realise?
  2. Which changes do you observe at impact level and to which extent have Rikolto’s interventions contributed to these changes? Have farmers’ livelihoods indeed improved and how much? Did these improvements have some connection to Rikolto’s work (through its direct partners, that is) and do these improvements matter in their lives? In answering this question, we learn what the impact of our work is and its relevance for the targeted farmers.
  3. Which lessons can you draw from the effectiveness and relevance analyses of Rikolto’s interventions, in order to inform implementation strategies during the last two years of our programme?

You can consult the 2019 Rikolto mid-term reviews and management responses by clicking on the following links.

Global consolidated mid-term review note