The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) shut down its activities in December 2020 at the end of its mandate. The administrative closure of the Centre was completed in November 2021.

Achieving Widespread Impact

This report presents an analysis of impacts of CTA’s programmes and activities by 75 impact narratives. It looks into the types of impacts and beneficiaries reached, and the division between short- and long-term impacts.

The report also includes a chapter which provides an interpretation of causal and chronological impact, and another in which lessons learned are discussed.

The 23 evaluation and impact studies, from which the 75 narratives were extracted, were produced in the period 2013–2015 and cover a portion of CTA’s activities from 2003–2014.

The general conclusions and trends identified by studying this impact data show that CTA has been successful at:

  • supporting beneficiaries and partners to develop their networks and to collaborate;
  • introducing and strengthening policy frameworks; and
  • improving the knowledge and skills of agriculture professionals.

Impact has been measured in five impact categories set by CTA: social capital, human/technical capital, political empowerment, improved natural resource management (NRM), and wealth/income. The impact data from the 75 ‘impact narratives’ was categorised and measured against specific indicators under one or two impact categories. Each of the impact narratives also identified one or more beneficiaries of the CTA inputs and activities.Many of the 75 examples captured a positive effect on social capital, human/technical capital, and political empowerment.

Improved NRM and wealth/income were the categories in which the least number of impacts were measured. However, long-term impact has been achieved in increased wealth for farmers, usually as indirect beneficiaries (and sometimes as direct beneficiaries) of CTA interventions.

A deeper dive into the impact data per category reveals some interesting trends. Partners increased their social capital (26 cases) mainly through ‘improved relationships with partners and networks’ (14 cases) and an ‘increase in visibility’ (10 cases).

Meanwhile, the human/technical capital (22 cases) benefited mainly from ‘transformed capacities’ (13 cases). The political empowerment (16 cases) from the beneficiaries was developed by an increase in the level of ‘discussion and interaction on agricricultural research for development (ARD)-related issues and topics’ (nine narratives).

The indicators in each category measure data both at direct and indirect beneficiary levels. Partly for this reason, measuring the indicators for the improved NRM and wealth/impact categories proved to be more difficult. Measuring farmer incomes (farmers usually being the indirect beneficiaries of CTA interventions) or the state of the environment requires in-depth, extensive and longer-term research. There were however cases in which impacts were reported on the contribution to income-generating activities for farmers (five cases) and on new or improved farm practices (five cases).