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Evaluation and monitoring of CATIE IPM/AF (NORAD) program


Norwegian Agency for Development and Co-operation (NORAD), through Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE, Nicaragua)


Consortium of consultants organised by CABI Commodities.

Project Description

Training of Trainers in Nicaragua

To undertake a review of CATIE's IPM and Agroforestry Program, financed by NORAD. This Program began in 1989, and is now in its third phase, due to run until October 2003. An external monitoring and evaluation (M&E;) activity, planned to take place during this third phase, was designed to complement the internal monitoring and evaluation the Program carries out as part of its day-to-day activities. A final review of Phase 2 was also required as part of the M&E; activities. This provision for external M&E; offers a valuable opportunity to gain a greater qualitative understanding of the nature of the changes that the Program has helped to bring about, the reason for these, and their likely longevity, than is often possible within IPM programmes. This opportunity is particularly important in the case of the CATIE IPM-AF (NORAD) Regional Program, since, given its size and longevity, there should be many valuable lessons to learn from an in-depth qualitative investigation. It is hoped that in this way, the external M&E;, in concert with the Program's internal M&E;, will make a valuable contribution to understanding how the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the impact of this, and future, IPM programmes can be maximised.

CATIE was delegated the responsibility to supervise and administer this evaluation, and this was agreed with NORAD in May 2000. In turn CABI Commodities has been contracted to organise a consortium of consultants to carry out the programme of work, and has organized a consortium of experts in the field of monitoring and evaluation of participatory IPM and AF programmes. This draws on CABI Commodities' strengths in participatory methods and coffee IPM. Terms of Reference include:

  • Final review of Phase II referred to as CATIE/INTA IPM Project, which ended in July 1998
  • An analysis of the relationships between Phase II and the new regional Program
  • A review of the start-up period of two years of the new Program
  • A plan for monitoring and evaluation of the remaining years of the IPM/AF Program

Achievements So Far

CABI Commodities has undertaken the organisation and selection of the consortium of consultants for this evaluation, under contract from CATIE (Nicaragua), as well as providing the administration and logistical support to the project.

A workshop of experts from seven international institutions and universities, including CABI Commodities, determined the evaluation format, indicators and methods in London, September 2000. A field-team comprising an independent consultant and staff from CABI Commodities, Pesticide Action Network-UK, and Intermediate Technology Development Group (Peru) undertook a three-week mission in Nicaragua in October 2000 to complete an initial review. The Final Report was submitted to CATIE and NORAD during December 2000.

Members of this original Consortium met again in July 2001 to outline the over-all goals, objectives and strategies of this 'Wider Lessons' process, as this M&E; is now being called. Reviewed and approved by NORAD in September 2001 as the over-all framework of the Wider Lessons process, this will be carried out between September 2001 and August 2003.

Initial field-work was undertaken in October 2001, and, as the result of a planning meeting by the CABI Consortium in November 2001, the objectives of Phase 2 were determined. Further field-work is currently underway and will include the following activities during 2002:

  • Comparative economic analysis, including qualitative assessment of cost-benefit relations of IPM/AF and identification of non-market benefits;
  • Definition, justification and evaluation of High, Medium and Low differentiated impact areas, highlighting important qualitative knowledge learnt;
  • Institutional analysis, highlighting important qualitative experiences and organisational change;
  • Concrete suggestions for generating information that might contribute to the final outputs of the Wider Lessons study.

What Next

It is expected that the external monitoring and evaluation activities will be closely linked with the Program's internal monitoring and evaluation activities, and will present a valuable opportunity to gain more in-depth qualitative knowledge of the reasons for, and likely sustainability of, the changes initiated through the Program's work, as well as better comprehension of the cost-benefit analysis of the Program's work. Fieldwork will take place from September 2001 to early 2003 and a series of booklets, and more in-depth studies, will be produced in mid-2003 both in English and Spanish. These will examine the effect of the Program's work at various stakeholder levels, as well as providing insights into crosscutting issues. A further publication will compare the work of the Program with that of other farmer participatory based IPM programmes around the world, utilising, in part, CABI's partnership in the Global IPM Facility (GIPMF). Publications will be designed both to inform a broad audience about the impact of IPM programmes, and to provide more detailed information for interested practitioners/researchers. These publications will be made widely available through CABI Bioscience, the GIPMF, CATIE and the Universities of Hannover and Imperial College, London. The over-all tasks for the external monitoring and evaluation leading to Wider Learning is to be divided in three consecutive phases:

Phase I: Understanding of the Program and its internal monitoring, and the design of the complimentary studies (July 2001-February 2002)

Phase II: Execution of the complimentary studies for Wider Learning (February 2002- February 2003)

Phase III: Analysis and consolidation of results and preparation of the publications (March 2003-August 2003)

Administrator: a.awan-hamlyn@cabi.org

Start date: August 2000

End date: August 2003

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Contact CABI Commodities:
CABI Commodities Coffee Co-ordinator - Dr. Peter Baker - p.baker@cabi.org
CABI Commodities Cocoa Co-ordinator - Dr. Keith Holmes - k.holmes@cabi.org
CABI Commodities Project Administrator - cabi-commodities@cabi.org