Tackling Rural Poverty – Learning the Lessons Together

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Bank starts joint review of agriculture and rural development with IFAD.

Tunis 16 July -  The African Development Bank (AfDB) today signed an agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to conduct a joint review of their work in supporting agriculture and rural development in Africa over the last ten years.

The independent evaluation, which will deliver its interim and final reports in 2008, is being implemented as a joint operation between the two institutions’ evaluation departments and is an example of the agencies’ commitments under the Paris Declaration to increase the levels of coordination and joint implementation of aid programmes between donor agencies.

The IFAD President Lennart Bage said that the review will help both institutions to improve their understanding about what works and what does not work in fighting rural poverty.  AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said that the study could make an important addition to knowledge in the two agencies as well as in other institutions working in rural development in Africa.

The evaluation will assess the effectiveness of the two institution’s policies, programmes and projects in stimulating rural development and reducing poverty. It will also examine the relevance of their work to the development strategies of the beneficiary countries and to the situation and needs of the rural poor.

The performance of the agriculture sector has been markedly poor in Africa compared to other regions with little improvement in crop yields or rural incomes, and declining levels of food security and agricultural trade balances.

The review will guide the Bank and IFAD on how to strengthen their work together in the future and in finding the most appropriate roles within the increasingly complex development assistance landscape in Africa.

Since the late 1970s, the two institutions have invested more than $10 bn in agriculture and rural development work in Africa.