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Nicaragua Country Programme 200434: an evaluation

https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000108455/download/
This decentralized evaluation (DE) was commissioned by the WFP Nicaragua Country Office and covers the Country Programme 200434, the T-ICSP and complementarity activities, as such covering the 2013-2018 period. The DE was carried out in the first semester of 2019.

The evaluation was primarily commissioned to inform the 2019-2023 CSP’s activities and modalities implementation, having learning and improvement as its main objective; while secondarily accountability purpose was also attended. As the CP 200434 mid-term evaluation already covered the relevance assessment criteria, this final DE’s evaluation questions and criteria were focused on assessing: i) key results and influencing factor for performance (effectiveness); ii) proportionally and synergies among implemented activities (efficiency) , and drivers and constrains regarding sustainability.

The evaluation covered the following activities carried out under a national capacity strengthening cross-cutting approach: a) school feeding; b) nutrition; c) smallholder agricultural market support; e) Government’s risk management technical assistance; d) Gender: e) and VIH-related activities.

Key evaluation findings included:

  • Strategically, the CO successfully shifted to strengthening information management for risk prevention in partnership with SINAPRED (National System for Prevention, Mitigation and Disaster Assistance), refocusing on mainstreaming climate change and resilience actions.
  • Very close relationship Education authorities was a key factor explaining good results on school feeding, being the programme a platform for behavioral changes at community level; while more could be done in terms of menu diversity and nutrition.
  • Work with smallholders directly influenced their life conditions, with 53% of cooperatives selling corn and beans to WFP’s school programme for a value of USD9.45 million. Targeted cooperatives’ disparity demanded a wide range of actions not always well connected.
  • Mainstreaming nutrition, resilience and climate change was done through specific workshops, lacking for evidence on impact about changes in behavior and attitudes.

Key recommendations from the evaluation included:

  • To design and implement a Social Behavior Change and Communication Strategy on peace, nutrition, gender, and resilience and climate change; taking advantage of the school feeding committees (CAEs); smallholders’ organizations reaching smaller organizations in need; and the disaster management national system (SINAPRED).
  • Strengthening the capacity building plan with the Government partners: i) Ministry of Education, aiming at gradual transfer of all operational issues, including piloting a food distribution decentralization; ii) SINAPRED, looking for prioritization of needs and transfer of capacities with specific deadlines.
  • Design and execute an exit graduation processes for smallholder cooperatives based on results achieved and clear indicators.
  • Conduct a pilot of the biofortified seed circuit managed by the targeted cooperatives, reaching school snacks programme through WFP’s purchase, to be extended nationally at medium term with the Ministry of Health (MINSA) and the Ministry of Family, Community, Cooperative and Associative Economy (MEFCCA) based on evidence about nutritional benefits.
  • Strengthening the monitoring process, particularly on risk management’ capacity building, and behavior change (see Recommendation 1) by increasing monitoring human resources, designing viable indicators and systematically generating information on the added value and cost/benefit analysis.