Rural development can be a powerful force for change when it includes and empowers poor rural women and men. Economic growth on its own does not change lives – but investing in the resilience and market participation of small-scale producers can make a lasting difference.
To farm successfully, smallholders need secure access to land and water, affordable electricity, better access to financial services, paved roads and transportation to get their products to market, and access to technology for up-to-date and reliable market information. They also need to be linked to functioning markets so that they have an incentive to invest in improving production. IFAD supports projects that connect poor rural people to markets and services so they can grow more and earn more.
More than that, our projects also transform rural communities economically and socially, and promote gender equality and inclusiveness.
Investments that make a difference
To date, IFAD has:
mobilized around US$28 billion in co-financing and funding from domestic sources for rural development, and contributed an additional US$20.9 billion in loans and grants
supported 1,069 programmes and projects in partnership with 125 recipient governments
empowered approximately 483 million people to grow more food, better manage their land and natural resources, learn new skills, start small businesses, build strong organizations and gain a voice in decisions that affect their lives
The impact of our investments is wide-ranging. Because of our work:
families are able to feed themselves and contribute to overall food security
parents and children have decent nutrition and health
economic security is created in rural communities
women, indigenous peoples and other disadvantaged groups are empowered
young women and men are choosing to build businesses in their rural communities
rural people are becoming more resilient to climate shocks
IFAD has a strong focus on results. We measure performance through the results measurement frameworks (RMFs) agreed with Member States in the context of IFAD’s replenishment consultations. Progress is reported annually to the Executive Board and its Evaluation Committee in the Report on IFAD’s Development Effectiveness (RIDE), and the Annual Report on the Independent Evaluation of IFAD (ARIE) produced by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD.
In recent years, IFAD has increasingly strengthened its focus on measuring results. The IFAD9 Impact Assessment Initiative represents a pioneering initiative to broaden the evidence base for measuring IFAD’s impact.
2 million people trained in crop production practices and technologies; 52 per cent were women
1.6 million people trained in livestock production
1.4 million people trained in natural resource management
3.6 million hectares of common-property-resource land under improved management
16,000 kilometres of roads constructed or repaired
32,000 marketing groups formed or strengthened
1 million people trained in business and entrepreneurship
50 per cent of people receiving services from IFAD-supported projects were women
This paper describes the Participatory Impact Assessment and Learning Approach (PIALA) which was developed and piloted by IFAD. The approach aims to produce rigorous qualitative and quantitative evidence that can be used not only to identify and assess the impacts of development projects, but also to promote learning and improved understanding of the associated processes and pathways of socio-economic change. Illustrated with cases from Viet Nam and Ghana, the paper assesses the value of the approach for collaborative learning and reporting for IFAD’s country programming and global policy engagement, as well as for the wider development community.
This paper examines the impact of IFAD-supported projects so as to learn lessons for future projects. It analyses the different methods used by IFAD to measure a project's impact, finds that IFAD is improving the well-being of rural people, and recommends that impact assessments be built into future projects from their inception.