Last month, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) released its first set of independent impact evaluations for farmer training activities in five countries that hold MCC compacts, including Feed the Future focus countries Ghana and Honduras. The impact evaluations monitor MCC progress in meeting project targets and test how project outcomes translate into farm income and ultimately household income.
The evaluations revealed a significant increase in farm income in three of the five countries, including improvements in project farmers’ annual crop income relative to the control group in the northern region of Ghana. MCC is using the findings of these impact evaluations to test traditional assumptions about what works, learn lessons, adapt business practices, and improve effectiveness. Impact evaluations are an important part of MCC’s commitment to using data and evidence to guide decision-making for selection of country partners, investment decisions, and measuring results.
As an independent U.S. foreign aid agency helping lead the fight against global poverty, MCC forms partnerships with poor countries that show they are committed to good governance, economic freedom, and investing in their citizens. With Feed the Future, MCC’s food security investments highlight the importance of strengthening agricultural and rural economies in poor countries and promote reliable access to sufficient, safe and affordable food.
Learn more about the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s first set of independent impact evaluations and what they mean for transparency and accountability in the U.S. Government’s development and food security programming.
UPDATE: In early November, MCC hosted its first MCC Agriculture College in Washington, DC. The week-long learning event included participants from MCC, USAID, USDA, USADF, MCC partner country governments, and representatives from contractors, civil society and private sector firms.
Each day of the college highlighted key areas targeted for improvement:
- Project and risk management
- Irrigation sustainability
- Performance monitoring and impact evaluation
- Sustaining investment benefits
The findings of MCC’s first five agriculture impact evaluations significantly informed the week’s agenda and subject matter priorities. At the event, participants shared challenges and successes and discussed best practices in implementing agriculture projects and improving food security.