Seminar on the AfDB/IFAD Joint Evaluation Agriculture and Rural Development
How well has the Bank been performing in agriculture and rural development? Has it been working well with other agencies such as IFAD? And what are the implications of the big changes currently taking places in Africa’s rural areas? These are some of the questions posed by the independent evaluation of agriculture and rural development currently being undertaken by the Operations Evaluation Department (OPEV) of AfDB, jointly with the Operations Evaluation (OE) office of IFAD. This joint evaluation is led by Colin Kirk, Director of OPEV, and Mr Luciano Lavizzari, Director of operations evaluation at IFAD.
Some preliminary findings from the joint evaluation were presented to the Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, Board members and management in a series of meetings held on Monday 14 January 2008 in Tunis. Several presentations were made. Although success in agriculture and rural development in Africa has in the past been elusive, emerging conditions present new opportunities including the global increase in food prices and demand for bio fuels, as well as growing demand and trade opportunities within Africa for foodstuffs. But there are many emerging challenges including climate change, the continuing AIDS epidemic, and a growing technological divide leaving African agriculture lagging behind. The evaluation, as it continues, will consider how and how far organizations such as the Bank and IFAD can address these new challenges.
These informal meetings were intended to acquaint decision makers with the approach taken by the joint evaluation. A similar meeting with IFAD’s President and senior management team was held in Rome on Friday 11 January. The evaluation desk work currently being undertaken will be complemented and informed by field visits and wider consultations. Workshops will be held later in the year to share emerging findings and conclusions.