Impact Study Agricultural Cooperatives: ADC*s engagement from 2010 to 2020, with focus on Armenia and Georgia
The main purpose of this impact study is learning. The study should provide evidence concerning the effectiveness and impact of instruments, strategies and approaches applied by ADC in its support of agricultural cooperatives. This will help further planning, decision-making and steering of ADC’s engagement in food security and sustainable rural development. The main objective of the impact study is to assess the effectiveness at outcome and impact levels of ADA funded or implemented interventions related to agricultural cooperatives in the search for food security and sustainable development (i.e. in terms of livelihood improvements, e.g. through income generation and job creation). The study will also assess relevant change processes (i.e. in terms of behaviour, motivation, appreciation, knowledge/capabilities) at policy, institutional and individual level. In this respect, causes, interdependencies and trade-offs as well as long-term effects of ADC’s engagement shall be explored.
The study will help further planning, decision-making and steering of ADC’s engagement in food security and sustainable rural development.
The core group of users of this impact study is around 50 persons, including ADA management and programmatic staff at Headquarters and in the partner countries as well as ADA partners across the globe. The results of the impact study will be used both for institutional learning – for programme managers within ADA (headquarter and coordination offices), NGOs and the private sector working in this field. They will also be shared with the relevant authorities and the Austrian public.
The study will employ a Mixed-Methods approach to data collection and data analysis, including both quantitative and qualitative methods. The impact study will draw on a range of data sources and data collection methods to ensure the reliability of results, promote impartiality, reduce bias, and ensure that the findings are based on the most comprehensive and relevant information possible. This includes a) a portfolio and document review at strategic, policy and project/programme level; statistical data, literature and evaluative evidence relevant to agricultural cooperatives and the scope of this impact study; b) key informant interviews and focus Groups, c) case studies on Armenia an Georgia, including a comparison study and possibly a survey.
Contribution to poverty reduction, ensuring peace and human security, promoting sustainable economic development and preserving the environment are set out as goals in the Austrian Federal Development Cooperation Act. Food security in the framework of the “water, energy and food security nexus” is also one of the thematic priorities of the current Three-Year Programme on Austrian Development Policy 2019-2021. ADC’s draft policy document on food security and sustainable rural development focuses on five strategic areas:
Sustainable management of natural resources and equal access to land, food and nutrition security, sustainable development of the rural economy, Education, capacity development and empowerment, rural governance - inclusive participation and advocacy. The promotion of agricultural cooperatives is relevant to all five strategic areas, yet especially in terms of sustainable development of the rural economy (better access to input and supply markets) and advocacy (representing and advocating for the interest of smallholder farmers). The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) has been providing support to agricultural cooperatives in order to enable smallholder farmers to have better access to input and supply markets and thus contribute to enhance income-generation, job generation and local value added. ADA’s direct support to agricultural cooperatives during the impact study timeframe has been focussed on Armenia and Georgia as well as Burkina Faso; indirect support to agricultural cooperatives has also been provided in these three countries, as well as in Kosovo and Ethiopia.