Livelihoods in Zimbabwe: Evaluation of food security and strengthening livelihood options | Food Security

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This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2013/14, selected for review under the livelihoods thematic area. This report documents the findings of a quasi-experimental evaluation carried out in November 2013 that sought to assess the impact of the activities of the Food Security and Livelihood Programme in Zimbabwe. The project’s overall objective was to contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger amongst the poor and vulnerable in Midlands and Masvingo provinces. It aimed to do this by enhancing livelihood options for households from selected communities in 15 wards across three districts in these provinces. The project aimed to directly benefit up to 24,500 people across the three target districts through three key interventions: summer agricultural inputs together with conservation agriculture training
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  EFFECTIVENESS REVIEW SERIES ‘enhancing effectiveness through evidence-based learning’  EFFECTIVENESS REVIEW SERIES 2013/14: ARMENIA BOLIVIA COLOMBIA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGOENGLAND ETHIOPIA GEORGIA HAITI HONDURAS INDONESIA JORDAN LEBANON MALAWI MALI   NEPAL NIGER PAKISTAN RUSSIA RWANDA SCOTLAND VIETNAM ZAMBIA ZIMBABWE The Food Security & Livelihoods Programme aimed to contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger by strengthening livelihoods options for vulnerable people in the Midlands and Masvingo provinces of Zimbabwe. Up to 24,500 people were supported with provision of inputs for conventional agriculture, with training in conservation agriculture, with support to livestock production, and through development of communal market-garden linkages. The project activities were implemented from 2010 to 2014 by Oxfam in conjunction with two local partner organisations – Batanai HIV & AIDS Service Organisation (BHASO) and Midlands Aids Caring Organisation (MACO). Project goalsProject utcomesctivitiesIncreased food security and strengthened livelihood optionsIncreased asset baseImproved income as a result of increased production and effective market lnkagesImproved cereal crop yieldsIncreased production of key market garden produceImproved animal health and functioning breeding programmeImproved knowledge and increased application of conservation agriculture production techniquesProvide agricultural inputs, promotion of small grains and conservation agriculture trainingProvision of livestock vouchers, vetinary kits and associated trainingTraining on market garden production, marketing, business management Food security and strengthening livelihood options Project date: April 2010 - March 2014Evaluation: November 2013Publication: February 2015 Livelihoods Zimbabwe2013/14 The above diagram presents a simplied explanation of how the project was expected to achieve change, through project activities and outcomes that were expected to contribute to the overall goal of the project.  Evaluation Method Full version of this report and more information can be found at Oxfam’s Policy and Practice website: www.oxfam.org.uk/effectiveness For more information, contact Oxfam’s Programme Quality Team - ppat@oxfam.org.uk The group supported by agricultural inputs and training in conservation agriculture produced more than double the quantity of crops than corresponding households in the comparison group. Participants generated much larger income from crop sales, and were eating a more diverse diet than the comparison households. However, there was less evidence among this group of an improvement in food security, and no indication of a change in terms of wealth indicators (asset ownership and housing conditions). Participants of the livestock support and market-garden groups were found to have generated even greater gains in agricultural production and sales, and in overall household income. Their increased engagement in livestock rearing and market gardening meant that they had increased the diversication of their income sources over the project’s lifetime. Households in the market-garden intervention group demonstrated particularly positive results, with an estimated average income increase of 40 per cent, signicant changes in wealth indicators, and improved food security and dietary diversity.The review sought to evaluate the project’s impact among households who received direct support from the project. Data from interviews with project participants and producers from nearby communities where the project had not been implemented were analysed using propensity-score matching and multivariate regression.See the ‘How are effectiveness reviews carried out?’ document for more information on evaluation design. Details about the specic evaluation design used in this case are contained in the full report of the Effectiveness Review. Going forward Learning from this Effectiveness Review will be used to strengthen future programme work in support of smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe. In particular, technical experts at regional and global level will be engaged to provide support on the development of market linkages work in future projects. Agricultural production systems for smallholder farmers will be strengthened through policy engagement and through building the capacity of local institutions to deliver quality extension services. Photo credit: Ntando Ndebele/Oxfam Results    Adoption of improved agricultural practices   YESIncrease in number of crops cultivatedYESIncrease in vegetable productionYESYESYESYESIncrease in livelihood activitiesYESIncreased household incomeYESImprovement in wealth indicatorsYESYESYESYESIncreased food security and dietary diversityYESYESIncrease in cereal crop productionYES YES   YESYESYESNOYESNOYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES Project outcomeEvidence of positive impact - overallEvidence of positive impact - inputs and conservation agriculture groupEvidence of positive impact - small livestock groupEvidence of positive impact - communal market-garden linages group
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