Oxfam Strategic Plan Evaluation: Sustainable Food (CG4) Outcome Area

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This review asks how Oxfam is doing in terms of its intended shift from service delivery to influencing strategies, and how much progress has been made so far in terms of achieving greater food security, income, prosperity and resilience at a large scale (the expected income of CG4). This review also analyses Oxfam Country Strategies to gauge whether they are firmly committing to this new way of doing things. Based on findings, recommendations have been made for Oxfam to further move towards an influencing strategy, rather than direct implementation, to achieve the Sustainable Food Change Goal.
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  FEBRUARY 2016 i OXFAM STRATEGIC PLAN EVALUATION: SUSTAINABLE FOOD (CG 4) OUTCOME AREA JANS MAES   Independent Consultant The citation for this paper is: Maes, Jan (2016). Oxfam Strategic Plan (OSP) Evaluation: Sustainable Food Outcome Area. Oxfam, February.     FEBRUARY 2016 iii  ACRONYMS BRICSAM Brazil, Russia, India, china, South Africa and Mexico BtB Behind the Brands CAMSA Common Approach to MEL and Social Accountability CARP Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program CASHE Commercialisation of agricultural smallholders in Ethiopia CG Change Goal CSO Civil Society Organization CSRL Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood DRR Disaster Risk Reduction EB Executive Board EC European Community ED Executive Directors EDP Enterprise Development Program EFSL Emergency Food Security and Livelihoods EJ Economic Justice EWS Early Warning System FFH Food Female Hero GBV Gender-based violence GJ Gender Justice ICTs Information and communication technologies (I)NGO (International) Non-Governmental Organization JCAS Joint Country Analysis and Strategy LWF Land, Water and Food M4P Making Markets Work for the Poor M&E Monitoring and Evaluation MEL Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning MSN Multi Stakeholder Network OAU Oxfam Australia OB Oxfam Belgium OCA Oxfam Canada OGB Oxfam Great Britain OHK Oxfam Hong Kong OI Oxfam International ON Oxfam Novib (Netherlands) OPA One Program Approach OPAL Oxfam People Accountability Learning OPT Occupied Palestinian Territories OSP Oxfam Strategic Plan RESOLVE Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainable Livelihood for Vulnerable Ecosystems ToC Theory of Change UN United Nations VFS Voices for Food Security WIN Worldwide Influencing Network  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report examines a set of evaluations, meta  reviews and country strategies pertaining to Change Goal 4, Sustainable Food , of the 2013-2019 Oxfam Strategic Plan. This is the first review of CG4, with a second one planned for 2019. PURPOSE Going into the third year of this six-year plan, this review asks how Oxfam is doing in terms of its intended shift from service delivery to influencing strategies, and how much progress has been made so far in terms of achieving greater food security, income, prosperity and resilience at a large scale, the expected impact of CG4. In terms of the planned strategic shift from service delivery to influencing, this review also analyses Oxfam Country Strategies (OCS) to gauge whether they are firmly committing to this new way of doing things. Based on these findings, recommendations have been made for Oxfam to further move towards an influencing strategy, rather than direct implementation, to achieve the Sustainable Food Change Goal, and to adapt its evaluation methodology accordingly. METHODOLOGY The review focused entirely on a desk study of existing reviews of evaluations and country strategies as well as a set of evaluations of programs (that use some degree of influencing) contributing to income and food security. Only methodologically sound evaluations were reviewed by focusing on indicative program/project outcomes of food security and income, and types of program approaches and influencing efforts. The evaluations span a significant number of Oxfam affiliates (at least seven), seven regions and at least 15 countries. Since the evaluations selected for this review were conducted between January 2013 and October 2015, the evaluated projects and programs themselves were mostly started and sometimes already finished before the OSP 2013-15 timespan. As a result, the evaluations in this review should not be looked at as if they reflect the new Oxfam (envisioned in the OSP) versus the old, but they are rather a reflection of trends and changes as they have been emerging before the OSP and to a lesser extent during first two years in its implementation. Most program evaluations included an outcome assessment of indicators of food security and/or income or intermediary outcome indicators along impact chains that were assumed as leading to those impacts (such as increased productivity, access to markets, knowledge, etc.). The campaign evaluations did not report on any such indicators, but focused mostly on effectiveness of influencing strategies (such as advocacy, mobilization, capacity building), their immediate results (responses by different target audiences, from government, private sector, civic society and the public at large), and intermediary outcomes. KEY FINDINGS This review shows that there was already a shift taking place from service delivery to influencing  in CG4 programming, even before the OSP came into effect. The evaluations used for this review indicate that this shift is far from complete and faces some important challenges . Long term programs and campaigns are not yet sufficiently linked to maximize influencing and make it the central strategy to achieve the CG4. Programs and Campaigns are still being implemented to a large extent in siloes, and the evaluations available for this review reflect this by focusing on either one or other.
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