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.

Joint Impact Assessment of CTA’s support to CaFAN

The Caribbean Farmers Network Inc. (CaFAN) is a registered not-for-profit organisation representing about 500,000 small-scale farmers in 15 Caribbean countries. The organisation’s secretariat is located in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. CaFAN conducted this joint impact study, commissioned by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), to examine in-depth the impact of CTA funding and programme support to CaFAN. The findings are to contribute to learning for development impact within CTA and its ACP partner organisations and networks.The study was conducted between October and December 2013 by internal and external consultants as well as research assistants. The objective of the research was to obtain deeper insights of the impact of CTA funding on CaFAN’s capability to act and commit, as well as the capability to relate. The approach this study employed was to examine the nature and impact of the various activities funded by CTA on these two capabilities utilising a variety of data collection methods. The questions asked in this study were guided by the impact categorisation table supplied by CTA.While various persons speak to the impact, it was very difficult to quantify impact because insufficient information at the CaFAN and CaFAN membership level was available. Hence, the information received was highly anecdotal. Nonetheless, the study found that the human resourcing approach was serving the organisation well. The current approach has avoided the need for a recurrent budget for staff, a fact which has sunk many Caribbean NGOs.CTA’s support of CaFAN’s activity with a partnership dating back to the early years of CaFAN in 2004 and valued at close to 550,000 Euros in the areas of capacity building, outreach and mobilisation and information dissemination has benefited farmers.
On the capability to act and commit, the in-depth study showed that CaFAN structures functioned efficiently with available resources; and that although CaFAN possessed limited financial, institutional and human resources, it had committed and stable, inspiring and action-oriented . Executive structures had a legal basis to make binding commitments but seemed concerned about how to update the structures to respond to the changing environment. In relation to the capability to relate to external stakeholders, the study found that CaFAN continues to build and maintain networks with external actors such as governmental structures, private sector parties, civil society organisations (CSOs) and many players in the agricultural sector and related services.
The study found that CaFAN had competencies to build and maintain networks with domestic actors,had the ability to build and maintain relationships within its own setup/structures using effective communication, and had significantly increased its political legitimacy, social credibility and reputation.Among the key recommendation that the findings of the study throws up are as follows: CaFAN should develop internal official policies on key issues such as the use of volunteers; CaFAN should improve its monitoring and evaluation to allow it to more effectively quantify impact; CaFAN should build on its institutional base to improve its financial sustainability.