Resilience in Niger: Evaluation of improving livelihoods through integrated water resource management

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This evaluation is presented as part of the Effectiveness Review Series 2013/14, selected for review under the resilience thematic area. This report documents the findings of a quasi-experimental evaluation carried out in March 2014 that sought to assess the impact of the activities of the project ‘Improving Livelihoods through Integrated Water Resource Management in Niger’. The project was carried out by Oxfam together with Karkara, a Nigerien non-governmental organisation, between 2008 and 2013, with the aim of enabling participants to strengthen their livelihoods and to minimize risk from shocks and adapt to emerging trends and uncertainty. For more information, the data for this effectiveness review is available through the UK Data Service. Read more about the Oxfam Effectiveness Reviews. 
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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 project was carried out by Oxfam together with Karkara, a Nigerien non-governmental organisation, between 2008 and 2013 in several communities of the commune of Banibangou in western Niger. The project aimed to improve the management of surface and sub-soil water resources, to increase and diversify crop production in the communities, and to support livestock production through better management of pasture land and water resources. The Effectiveness Review evaluated the impact among the population of the two communities where the project had been implemented through its whole duration, Banibangou town and Soumatt. Improving livelihoods through integrated water resource management Project date: May 2008 - March 2013Evaluation: March 2014Publication: March 2015 Resilience Niger 2013/14 Map of Niger, with the project area (the commune of Banibangou) circled.  Results 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.ukResults apply across all households residing in Banibangou town and Soumatt. In some respects, the comparison made in this Effectiveness Review, between project communities and comparison communities is not ideal. It appears that there were differences between the two sets of communities (which either existed at baseline or have arisen since) that are unrelated to the activities of the project under review. This complicates the process of drawing conclusions from the comparison between them. Nevertheless, some results have been identied that correspond to key expected impacts of the project for which the effects of the project’s work is clear. The review sought to evaluate the project’s impact among the general population in the two communities. A ‘quasi-experimental’ evaluation design was used whereby data from interviews with residents of the project communities and with residents of communities where the project had not been implemented were analysed using propensity-score matching and multivariate regression.See the document ‘How are effectiveness reviews carried out?’ for more information on evaluation design. Full details about the specic evaluation design used in this case are contained in the full report of the Effectiveness Review. Going forward  As a result of this Effectiveness Review, Oxfam in Niger Programme and Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) staff will review current project monitoring systems. Impact indicators for resilience projects will also be analysed, with mandatory and optional indicators that could be used for such projects in the future also being determined. To accompany this, tools for data collection for each dened indicator, will be developed and/or reviewed. It is also intended that future projects will more rigourously dene understanding on these indicators and more clearly articulate areas such as frequency of data collection, and how it will be collected and treated, in order to improve project performance and monitoring. Voluntary households in future project implementation areas will also be monitored for at one year against resilience indicators most appropriateand relevant to the project. Photo credit: Fatoumata Diabate     Evidence of positive impact Commentary  Access to and use of information on water management  Project outcome  A signicantly higher proportion of residents in the project communities said that they had used information from the local water committee in taking a decision to reduce water consumption.    Access to improved water sourcesLarge proportions in the project communities have access to improved sources of water for household consumption, for livestock, and for agriculture. Increased sales of agricultural productsHouseholds in the project communities sold products worth more than twice as much, on average, as those in the comparison communities during the 12 months prior to the survey.   YESYESYESLivestock ownershipNo indication of any effect of the project on livestock ownership, sales or milk production.Improved food securitySome evidence that fewer food security problems were experienced in project communities, although the average value of food consumption was higher in the comparison communities.   Indicators of resilienceThere is evidence of an impact from the project on several of the specic indicators of resilience. However, the impact on the overall index of resilience is small.   NONot clear YESEngagement in kitchen gardening A larger proportion of households in the project communities are engaged in kitchen gardening, and using a much larger area of land than those in the comparison communities.YES
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