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Summative Evaluation of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) Program - for DFATD (GAC) (2015)

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 795 million people do not have access to sufficient good quality food in adequate quantities as a result of complex situations such as conflicts, natural disasters or poverty.
Support to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank is one of the ways in which Canada addresses urgent humanitarian food needs around the world. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank supports international food assistance, nutrition and agriculture and livelihoods programming through its 15 church or church based member agencies and their respective implementing partners.
This was an assessment of the results achieved by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) over the period 2011-16. Evaluation findings were to inform stakeholder decision-making and any future program design related to CFGB.  It was managed by DFATD.
Our evaluation team used a non-experimental, mixed evaluation method to collect both quantitative and qualitative information matched to the key evaluation questions in the Terms of Reference. Documents were obtained from CFGB and DFATD, as well as from member agencies and partner organizations at various stages of the evaluation.  The team selected four countries for the field study: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya and Ethiopia.  Combined, these countries offered the evaluators direct access to 17 projects comprising about 38% of the value of projects in the CFGB program and involving 10 out of the 15 member agencies.  The evaluators held key informant interviews with CFGB staff and leadership staff of all member agencies, as well as meeting with and observing the work of 20 partner organizations. The evaluators also administered an online survey to all members and to a sampling of partner organizations. 

Stocktaking Assessment of Key MNCH Practice (Tanzania) - for DFATD (GAC) (2015)

Tanzania’s performance on MDG 5, neonatal and maternal mortality, is currently below target.  From 2012 to 2015, the governments of Tanzania and Canada supported projects that were implemented by civil society non-governmental partners and aimed to strengthen the demand for MNCH services and to improve the quality of MNCH services at primary health facilities in Tanzania. At project end, the question was: what best practices and lessons emerged from those projects?

To help answer this, four of the Muskoka funded MNCH implementing partners engaged in a multi-step stocktaking evaluation with two external consultants in April-May 2015. The four implementing partners were:
AMREF (Accelerating Efforts to Improve MNCH Project); CARE International, CARE Canada with Jhpiego (Tabora Safe Motherhood Project); PLAN International Tanzania with Jhpiego and Africare (Wazazi na Mwana Accelerating Progress to MDGs 4 & 5); and, Aga Khan Foundation Canada with Aga Khan Health Services (Joining Hands Initiative Project). Each worked in collaboration with the Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW).
This stocktaking assignment used a multi-phased participatory methodology to assess four selected themes across the four projects. Each theme formed the basis of a descriptive case study that identified the most promising, emergent best practices. An initial workshop with all project participants clarified the themes, case studies and field sites. Fieldwork spanned four regions and ten districts with key informant interviews, focus groups, facility visits, observation and household visits. Cross comparative analysis of the findings yielded an organizing framework that included the identification of the principles and processes that guided successful work, emergent best practices, exemplars of results, and risks to be mitigated. A verification workshop at the end of fieldwork allowed discussions of findings.

Our deliverables included four knowledge products designed for policy makers and implementors and a full thematic evaluation report.

Process Evaluation (monitoring) – Youth Leadership and Resiliency Project, Hamlet of Arviat NU. – 2011-16

This community initiative, federally funded under the National Crime Prevention Centre of Public Safety Canada, encourages at risk youth to participate in school and build on their strengths and interests through a combination of a) facilitated peer group sessions in school that address risk factors, and on the land/culture and high adventure activities. Our task is to monitor implementation of the project in this Eastern Arctic community of 2,000 people, over five years.

End of Program Evaluation – Canadian Foodgrains Bank (2010-15) - global, for Canada’s DFATD – 2015

Canadian Food Grains Bank is supported by private donors and DFATD to provide food aid support in response to crises, and to develop policy options and public awareness related to food security. It does this through Canadian member non-governmental organizations and their partners. This evaluation examined results obtained four years into the five year funding period 2011-16.

Formative Evaluation - Strengthening Rural Value Chains in Ethiopia Project (EDGET), for DFATD - 2014

In this project MEDA and partners are organizing and strengthening a range of actors that link rice farmers and textile producers to markets. Their “value chain” approach is new to Ethiopia. This evaluation examined progress and early results at the mid way point of the five year project.

Process Evaluation (monitoring) – ‘DoEdaezhe’ Youth Leadership and Resiliency Project, Yellowknife Catholic School District – 2009-14

Monitored project delivery over five years in three Yellowknife schools featuring, peer groups, a mentorship initiative, engagement with parents/caregivers, leadership development, on the land activities and community volunteerism. Over a thousand students were affected by the project. Our task was to monitor implementation and help track results through three separate process evaluation studies. We also facilitated discussions on sustainability planning.

End of Phase Evaluation - Corporate Governance for Small and Medium Enterprises in Colombia Project Government of Switzerland - 2014

Examination of a three-year initiative by the Swiss Government and the International Finance Corporation, in concert with Colombian Ministries, to reform and promote effective corporate governance laws and practices relating to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Program Evaluation – Multilateral Election Observation Program– for DFATD – 2013-14

Review of Canada’s multilateral contributions through the Organization of American States, Commonwealth Secretariat, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, European Union, and the United Nations Development Program, and Carter Center that supported electoral observation and assistance as part of the Canadian government’s international democratic governance agenda.

Participatory Evaluations – Comprehensive Mother Tongue Literacy Projects in Tanzania-Uganda – 2011 and the Americas – 2012, for Wycliffe Global Alliance

We provided an external evaluator to lead these two collaborative inquiries for Wycliffe. Comprehensive programming represents a new direction in Scripture language development for Wycliffe and its sister organization SIL.

Mid-Term Review of Reach Up! - Youth Entrepreneurship and Microfinance Project – East Africa, funded by Mastercard Foundation - 2012

Two-country (Rwanda and Kenya) review of DOT’s three-year project funded by the MasterCard Foundation, a private corporate organization. The program aimed to provide youth in Kenya and Rwanda with technical skills to better prepare them for the workforce, as well as work with banks and other financial institutions to create mechanisms to provide loans and credit to youth entrepreneurs.

Process Evaluation, Equitable Academic and Social Support for Families Program (Calgary), Coalition for Equal Access to Education – 2009-12

The Coalition set out to address the various socio-economic issues faced by children of immigrants within the contexts of their family, school, and community environments. In the project they supported these children/youth and their families by helping to contribute to the healthy development of children of immigrants and families, particularly those with low socioeconomic status. Deliverables included: homework and literacy support, one to one mentoring, as well as arts based and social activities. The project also has intended to strengthen the communities in which children of immigrants and families live by encouraging and lobbying institutions and organizations to be more responsive to the needs of immigrant children/youth and their families. We supported the project through some training in logic model design and performance measurement and then through two monitoring exercises culminating in a final evaluation.

Program Evaluation of the Micro-Nutrient Initiative –for the Multilateral and Global Programs Branch, CIDA – 2011-12

MI is an international NGO, based in Ottawa. CIDA commissioned this evaluation of MI’s progress against its 2008-13 strategic goals: Child Survival: to reduce under-five mortality by increasing and sustaining vitamin A and zinc intake; Child Development: to improve the cognitive development of, and educational outcomes among, children through increased and sustained intake of iron and iodine; and, Women’s Health: to improve the survival and health of women by increasing and sustaining their iron, folic acid and iodine intake and, in turn by reducing the consequences of iron deficiency anemia and of poor pregnancy outcomes. The six person team examined MI’s work globally with detailed field work in Ethiopia, Senegal, India, and Bangladesh.

Program Evaluation of the (CIDA funded) Labour International Development Program (LIDP) – Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) - 2011

This was an end of program evaluation of the Labour International Development Program (LIDP) for the 2007 – 2012 program period. The CIDA funded LIDP was coordinated by CLC engaging seven affiliated Canadian labour unions. The total budget for the five-year program was $11,745,000. There were a total of 32 projects in 17 countries. These were organized around three themes: partner (union) capacity development, b) policy and advocacy re: labour issues, c) gender participation in labour decision-making. A team of five reviewed the LIDP management structure in Canada and undertook field visits to a sampling of sixteen partnership project sites in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Evaluations of NGO programs for CIDA’s Partnership Branch – 2007-2011

Evaluations in several organizations including: Canadian Red Cross, Operation Eyesight Universal, United Church of Canada, Inter-Church Action, Digital Opportunities Trust, Canadian Bureau for International Education, and the Universities of British Columbia, Alberta and Western Ontario (Western)

These evaluations typically involved the following activities on our part: engagement with implementing organizations and CIDA in work planning; visits to NGO offices and field studies, often with local consultants using methods such as observation, interview, focus group and online surveying; findings validation workshops at the community or institutional level; and then report preparation sometimes with presentations at CIDA.

End of Project Evaluation of the Agricultural Policy Support Facility, Nigeria, CIDA – 2011

The APSF was a $3-million, three-year project aimed at fostering better and more inclusive design and implementation of evidence-based, pro-poor, gender-sensitive and environmentally sustainable rural agricultural policies and strategies in Nigeria. The APSF was implemented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), an affiliate of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The project came to a close at the end of February 2010. Our task was to examine actual against planned outcomes and to generate lessons learned.

Mid-term Review of the Debt for Education Conversion Project, Pakistan, CIDA, 2011

The Pakistan-Canada Debt for Education Conversion investment was a five year program to: 1) rehabilitate teacher training institutes; 2) provide scholarships for talented students to enter the teaching profession; and 3) provide in-service training for large numbers of teachers throughout the country. Under the agreement specifying these activities, Canada excused the Government of Pakistan’s debt on the understanding that the Government of Pakistan would commit an equivalent amount to finance the program. Our task was to examine progress (utilization rates) at the mid way mark of what was eventually to be a seven year span.

Mid and End of Term Evaluations of the Global Corporate Governance Fund, World Bank – IFC, 2008, 2009

The GCGF was founded in 1999 by the World Bank and the OECD. It is a multi-donor trust fund designed to promote global, regional and local initiatives that aim to improve the institutional framework and practices of corporate governance. For much of its life up to this point, the Forum concentrated its work on four mandated ‘pillars’ or activity types: raising awareness and building consensus for implementation of reform; sponsoring research relevant to the needs of developing countries; disseminating best practice materials; and supporting institution and capacity building and providing technical assistance. In 2008, We undertook a detailed mid term evaluation of the Fund for the period 2004 to 2007. This involved field work in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central & Southeastern Europe, and Latin America & the Caribbean. With Plan:Net support, our lead on the mid term evaluation then undertook a final evaluation of this second phase of GCGF (up to 2010) with a view to shaping a subsequent iteration.