Chad is a least-developed country with high rates of poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition, and generally low social indicators. WFP has assisted the country in addressing its hunger needs since 1963. Since 2003, it has also assisted a large number of refugees from the Sudan and the Central African Republic, marking a drastic shift in the nature and scale of WFP assistance.
This report evaluates WFP’s country portfolio – defined as the ten food assistance operations undertaken between 2003 and 2009 – and focuses on three questions: i) How well did WFP position itself strategically and align with government and partner strategies? ii) How did WFP make choices, and how strategic were these? and iii) How did the portfolio perform, and what were the results? The evaluation was conducted by a consultancy firm, with fieldwork taking place in February 2010.
The WFP portfolio in Chad presents a significantly complex and challenging operating context, and the evaluation is generally positive. WFP operations were aligned with Government policies and partners’ strategies, although WFP could have positioned itself more strategically by using its important analytical work as leverage to influence national discussions of food security issues and government or partner strategies. Weak national capacity and commitment have limited government ownership and WFP’s incentive and ability to work in effective partnership with the Government. Programme choices and implementation options have been bound by external factors, but have also been guided by assessments, corporate policies and – to a lesser extent – the promotion of synergy with partners, notably in eastern Chad. However, the portfolio has generally been viewed and managed as a set of discrete food assistance operations, rather than an integrated portfolio with a clear vision, common goal and strategy.
The evaluation found that the portfolio performed well, notably in refugee assistance, which made up the bulk of the portfolio. WFP responded quickly and effectively to the initial influx of refugees, and coordinated well with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide assistance that saved lives and contributed to a significant reduction in malnutrition rates. However, assistance to the Chadian population in the east and the Sahelian zone was judged insufficient given the prevailing food insecurity and malnutrition. Logistics operations contributed to the portfolio’s effectiveness and were performed professionally and efficiently, allowing timely assistance despite the numerous challenges.
The evaluation recommends developing a five-year strategy for the country office and a management approach that integrates decision-making across the entire portfolio, to allow enhanced cross-fertilization within and among operations. Closer partnership with the Government and main partners through further engagement, integration and coordination is also recommended.