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Forsiden av dokumentet Final Evaluation of “Development Alcoche” Regional Contract


Final Evaluation of “Development Alcoche” Regional Contract

Purpose/objective: There has been needed a broad evaluation as the Regional Development Contract is to be ended. The objective was to analyze the rationale and pertinence of Alcoche Regional Development Contract in phases PDDRII and Closing Plan, looking into the fulfillment of objectives, efficiency and execution of reached results, putting emphasis on impact, feasibility and sustainability, having as benchmark point the Pilot Project and the PDDR in its first stage. Mission Alliance and MANB are planning to start up a new program, building on the experiences and therefore recommendations for future work are also asked for. Methodology: According to the ToRs and agreed-upon Technical Proposal, the methodology was based on the analysis of the following parameters: Pertinence; Efficiency (organization, intervention, follow-up and evaluation); Effectiveness, Impact and Sustainability, putting more emphasis on the impact. For this, different types of working methodologies were developed: Document Review, Users’ Surveys and general population; Direct Interviews, Focus Groups, visits to infrastructure works and productive units; and feedback and validation workshops with MAN-B staff and communities that participated from the evaluation process. The development of the aforementioned activities, implied the interaction with more than 500 people (officers, technicians and target population), including a survey, as well as the in situ inspection of works and farms (fincas) in 23 colonies. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY MANB started operations in Caranavi in 1995 implementing the “Alcoche Regional Development Contract” which began with a two-year Pilot Plan and ended with a closing plan in 2010. Among the most important and creative working characteristics, the population direct involvement was highlighted along with the municipal plans giving social and political support, and legitimacy. The evaluation witnessed an adequate pertinence and relevance because the action lines were based on the communities’ prioritized needs; highlighting the productive improvement that has been the most historic priority but, chronically neglected by governments and development institutions. The Contract administration and management showed an adequate relationship between human, technical and financial resources as well as an efficient implementation that was adjusted to procedures and institutional standards; it had a few and little significant shortcomings that were overcome. It was also highlighted the equally standardized, effective and transparent community managed administration. The implementation team had an adequate technical profile and performance; it characterized for its mystical work and excellent relations with the community. It showed weaknesses in planning, analysis and systematization which were offset by the work load associated to the Contract’s thematic and territorial amplitude. There were advances regarding planning, but the design and management of its instruments was the most important operational bottle-neck; associated in part by the lack of standardized institutional instruments and the correlative autonomy of the territories in this sphere. Due to similar reasons, the application of gender and environmental approaches was insufficient but, with better achievements in the environmental field. Generally the applied strategies were adequate, including some creative and bold, like the relocation of resources and decisions to the community and three party co-financing (MANB-Community-Municipality) that favored: responsibility, community commitment, social development capital and a high empowering degree which is crucial for development and usually, difficult to achieve. With some exceptions, the Human Development Program goals were sufficiently achieved thus an impressive volume of physical works and human capital was completed which endorsed the program effectiveness and its undeniable contribution to community development and particularly of the 2.300 directly involved families. The most noticeable weakness was the chronic non-fulfillment of the municipal counterparts both, in due time and proper course. Similarly, the Productive Development Program was able to improve conditions, quality, yields, quality and commercialization in seven lines: demonstrating that sustainable production is feasible and profitable, which is especially relevant when it is faced by climate changes – and unavoidable reality-; it should also be highlighted the consolidation of more than 12 productive organizations. From many perspectives, it was a pioneer work establishing the bases for the region’s productive and socio environmental development. There was a lack of substantive areas: base lines, profitability data, follow-up plan, parcel assignment and inventory of present timber-yielding resources in the agro-forestry systems (SAF). The participation and the female productive potential development centered on traditional activities was also an important weakness that needs to the resolved in the future. There were changes or transcendental impacts in different spheres with good possibilities to stand in time: Human capital development (knowledge, skills, self-esteem and self-management, social control, values and appropriation of technologies and sustainable practices), all essential factors for development; better income and better quality of life of families (alimentation, education, clothing, electro-domestics, vehicles and in lesser degree housing); acknowledged leadership  of the committees and other organizations; practice of values (transparency, respect, solidarity, family cohesion and mutual trust); conscience on the importance of education, health and basic sanitation; growing productive partnerships in favor of commercialization and search for new markets; and “qualitative jump” from traditional agriculture to sustainable agriculture, with tangible financial and social benefits. Sustainability biggest risk is associated to the lack of consolidation of some processes: women’s organizations, new projects (citrus, chickens and nurseries) and practical application of the environmental approach (schools and communities). There are also external factors that could have the same effect: changes of political scenarios, leadership corruption, municipality’s un-fulfillment and inattention, return to mono-cultivation due to market conditions or expansion of other crops as coca leaves. Among lessons, good practices and main recommendations, we can state the following: o It was right to respond to the priority needs of the community, but too much flexibility, generated dispersion and activism.o Sensitive areas require strategic and political institutional benchmarks to avoid improvisation and ensure effectivenesso The three party-counterpart strategy proved to be a good practice that favored the expansion of basic services and ownership, but the risk – implied – was that the municipality loses its “responsibility” for duties.o The direct management of projects and resources by the community was fundamental for empowering and it is – in fact – the most important contribution of MAN-B, but still this has not been conceptualized.o It is important to have a flexible framework, aligned with the municipal plans, but with stability in the main elements to guarantee a strategic action.o The development of individual and community productive projects was an appropriate option that had direct impact on the life quality of the families, local development and communities’ environmental actions. Its optimization depends on the improvement of some aspects.o The most important challenge for sustainability has to do with the following: long-term concept and short term intervention, which influence - in a negative manner - the consolidation of outputs and processes.We recommend: ► Develop and implement a group of key institutional policies: territory ad thematic focalization; gender equity; environmental sustainability, facilitation/technical assistance and others.► Re-establish the counterpart strategy, at the light of the Municipal responsibility with regard to social infrastructure, thus, gradually, move towards a more equal scheme, where Municipal contribution reaches 70-80% of the total investment.► Systematize the most successful experiences and avant-garde of the PDDR: “Community Trust” and “Three-party and bi-part counterpart for social and family infrastructure”.► Develop – in the short term – an institutional strategic and operations planning workshop, with standardized and replicable tools within the different areas.► Ensure that productive projects have: base line and productive and profitability indicators; business plans, the patio as a sub-productive unit, forestry management plans in the SAF and others; ensuring more structuring for training and technical assistance (facilitation).► Avoid the replica with “women projects” and choose to work with them as equal partners, continuing supporting domestic profile projects for those who prefer it.► Look into the possibility of expanding the intervention cycles, doubling – at least – the current for years, and from the beginning of projects make community organizations have touch with the different type of cooperation present in their territories; this to enhance the possibilities for negotiation supports once phasing-out arises, including the post-project monitoring and escalation of resulting processes. 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