Final evaluation of the Fomevidas-programme

Informe Final (PDF, in Spanish)

Anexos Informe final (PDF, in Spanish)

The FOMEVIDAS programme (2004–2010) aimed at strengthening rural development and reducing poverty in the departments of Boaco and Chontales in Nicaragua. The external final evaluation of the programme was carried out by ORGUT Consulting AB in 2011.

FOMEVIDAS programme design was based on the evaluations of previous programmes, such as PRODEGA, FADES and NICAMUEBLE. The so-called Sustainable Livelihoods Approach was adopted as the intervention method, as the approach was considered appropriate for areas with widespread rural poverty. The implementation strategy was based on executing small projects at community and regional levels.

The programme worked on issues such as agricultural production, water and sanitation, communal infrastructure, organizational strengthening and cooperatives, and non-agricultural employment. The variety of activities was decided based on the outcomes of community analyses. The programme also strengthened the capacity of the Institute of Rural Development (IDR), the programme's national counterpart, so that it could operate in highly vulnerable areas.

The outcomes were diverse. The government, for its part, certainly linked the SLA scheme very clearly to its own policy objective of poverty eradication. FOMEVIDAS was considered a high-priority programme for IDR. The evaluation gives a good grade for the programme's suitability and relevance for the areas where it operated. In terms of impact, the outcomes varied depending on the type of activity, region concerned and community's engagement with the project. According to the evaluation, water and sanitation projects had the greatest impact.

A great difficulty for monitoring and evaluation was that the programme could not define a baseline used in comparison. The implemented monitoring system was not very efficient in data collection and management, which hindered evaluating the programme's efficiency. Also for IDR, it meant difficulties to follow-up with the programme activities and outcomes.

In conclusion, the evaluation determined that executing small projects with low budget and within a short time period was not the best way to implement the programme. Exceptions to this were some specific projects, such as drinking water supply projects, where these issues turned out not to be problematic.