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 EAFF

The report of the in-depth phase of the joint impact assessment of CTA support to the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF) is one of the last steps in a series of activities intended to offer an opportunity for evaluating the mutual co-operation between the two institutions.
CTA was formed under the Lome Convention and Cotonou Agreement involving the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. CTA’s mandate is to develop and provide services that improve access to information and knowledge on agricultural and rural development and to strengthen the information and knowledge management and policy capacity of ACP organisations and networks.
EAFF is a regional farmers’ organisation whose role is to voice legitimate concerns and articulate farmer’s interests with respect to markets, productivity, capacity building and information, aimed at enhancing their social economic status and cohesiveness. EAFF focuses on farmer empowerment on a regional scale through lobbying and advocacy for favorable pro-poor policies and strengthening national farmer organisations. It promotes regional agricultural trade through market appropriation, improvement of value chain management, promotion of farming as a business, and entrepreneurship.
The deliverables in the collaboration between CTA and EAFF with partnership agreements valued at 262,953 Euros between 2007 and 2012 included a communication plan, web 2.0 and media strategy, website development, training of staff, development of social media tools, conferences and policy papers on climate change and bio-energy.
This collaboration was therefore the subject of the joint impact assessment. The key stages of the joint impact assessment included the quick scan, medium-term review meeting, and this in-depth study. The quick scan was conducted using the CTA developed Capacity-centred Impact Pathway Analysis (CcIPA) model.The results of the quick scan revealed that the main elements of collaboration were accomplished, resulting in increased visibility for EAFF and its members, increased and effective collaboration and communication on the web, and increased aptitude on the application of the social media tools that facilitate interaction and sharing of knowledge. It also resulted in increased and visible debate on climate change and bio-energy.Under the five capabilities (5Cs) model, EAFF scored highly on the various capabilities including internal and external domains, implementation of project activities, engagement and influence in networks, governance structure, vision, strategy and people. EAFF also recorded new initiatives such as building a knowledge hub and contracting a media consultant to develop a communication strategy and other public relation activities that offered increased visibility.At the same time, EAFF experienced unexpected impacts such as the adoption of the CTA financial management system, improved proposal writing skills, improved project management and reporting, as well as improved human resource capacity through involvement in CTA re-organisation and conference planning meetings.Observed shortcomings of CTA projects captured from the quick scan included short and uncertain durations, long lags in disbursement of approved funds, and over-emphasis on tangible products that constrained proposals intended to tackle policy issues due to the elusive nature of policy influencing.In the mid-term review workshop, in which the results of the quick scan were presented, EAFF chose to conduct its in-depth study on three elements. These elements were: skills enhancement through short-term training for staff and members, with focus on Web 2.0 and social media tools; policy advocacy/communication tools; and capability to relate in view of EAFF’s visibility and expansion of its networks and alliances.From the first area of study, the in-depth study showed that CTA/EAFF cooperation resulted in the creation of the EAFF website and increased hits, especially between 2012 and 2013. The impact of these developments has been that more of EAFF’s member organisations are relying on the internet and website for their functions. This cooperation has impacted EAFF, especially through the material/wealth creation impact category, given that it had to acquire and utilise information technology hardware. On the social capital/technical empowerment impact category, the second area of study showed that increased use of communication tools for policy advocacy purposes encouraged the increased involvement of organisations such as the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). The formation of the East African Biomass Board (EABB) and the adoption of various pieces of legislation at regional and national levels showed empowerment and increased political capital. This area of study also recorded increased mobilisation of resources, especially new funding for the purposes of advancing climate change and bio-energy issues in the region.The third study area, derived from the Five Capabilities (5Cs) model, was based on EAFF’s shift in strategic focus toward service delivery orientation. The impact of this shift in focus was expressed through a similar adjustment of EAFF’s member organisations’ strategic focus which shows increased human capital/technical empowerment. EAFF also recorded increased social capital by the increased number of alliances, networks and partnerships it developed over the period. In particular, EAFF developed functional relations with the East African Business Council (EABC), East African Grain Council (EAGC), the Forum on Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and Access Agriculture, among other institutions.