1.1. Project Summary
· Program: The Australia Middle East NGO Cooperation Agreement Phase 3 (AMENCA 3)
· Program Duration: Five years (April 2016 – Jun 2021)
· Area: (West Bank and Gaza Strip)
· Thematic scope: Market System Development (MSD), agriculture, economic empowerment of women and youth
1.2 Description of the project
The Australia Middle East NGO Cooperation Agreement Phase 3 (AMENCA 3) is AUD$40 million program which commenced in April 2016 in the West Bank and Gaza and builds on the achievements of its two predecessor programs (AMENCA 1 and AMENCA 2) which date back to 2005.
Four Australian NGOs (ANGOs; CARE Australia, Oxfam Australia, Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA and World Vision Australia) were selected though a competitive tender process to participate in the program. Later World Vision was suspended by the donor and has not been reinstated. The implementing partners were expected to include other relevant local organisations as part of their bids to assist in the implementation of their activities in a ‘consortium’ arrangement.
AMENCA 2 achieved sound results across a range of sectors however its most significant achievements were to increase the productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers and small-scale, women entrepreneurs. As a result, AMENCA 3 was designed to support efforts to make agriculture the key driver of the PTs economy and a tool for strengthening economic empowerment of women and youth.
The goal of AMENCA 3 is ‘Palestinian farmers connecting to markets’ and it seeks to deliver three outcomes. The first is Women and Men are More Market Ready. This means increasing the quantity, quality and reliability of farmers’ production which is being achieved through small-scale infrastructure development, market-orientated agricultural training and extension services, transfer of technology to increase yields and help for farmers to comply with food quality and safety systems.
The second outcome of AMENCA 3 is Women and Men Engage More Sustainably and Profitably in Value Chains. This builds on the first outcome with the establishment and/or promotion of commercially viable business models through which farmers can sell their products. ANGOs and their Palestinian partners are working with private sector businesses operating across selected value chains to improve the competitiveness of the agriculture sector and increase the incomes of farmers by negotiating arrangements with agribusinesses that address gaps and blockages in value chains.
The third outcome is Women and Youth are More Economically Empowered. The program is working to provide and enhance economic and social opportunities for women and young Palestinians in farming communities to develop skills, gain employment and exercise leadership. ANGOs and their consortia are working with the private sector to identify opportunities for women and youth, while working to reduce barriers to empowerment such as women’s limited mobility and the exclusion of youth from community leadership roles.
1.3 implementing partners
· Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)
· Rural Women’s Development Society (RWDS)
· Palestinian Livestock Development Center (PLDC)
· The Palestine Trade Center, PalTrade
· MA’AN Development Center
· Institute for Community Partnership (ICP), Bethlehem University
· Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association (ASALA)
· Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem (ARIJ)
· International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA)
2. The final evaluation
This final evaluation will occur between July and mid-September 2021 and evaluate more than five years of implementation (April 2016 – June 2021). The final evaluation intends to make an assessment, as systematic and objective as possible, of AMENCA 3, its design, implementation and results. The aim is to determine the relevance, coherence, developmental efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. The final evaluation will assess results achieved compared to original objectives outlined in the AMENCA 3 relevant documents such as the revised M&E framework finalized in 2020. This will inform implementing partners on key impact areas in understanding improvement needs for future similar programming. The primary audience for the evaluation is DFAT and AMENCA 3 consortia of INGOs.
The objectives of this evaluation are to:
A. Identify, assess and document the evidence for the achievement of expected and unexpected results of AMENCA 3 towards the intended outcomes
B. Identify key learnings, lessons, good practices, and provide short-term and long-term recommendations that might inform different implementing partners for future programs.
C. Identify external challenges and opportunities that contributed to, affected or impeded program progress.
2.2 SCOPE OF THE EVALUATION
The evaluation will cover AMENCA 3 from April 2016 to June 2021 in the Palestinian Territories of West Bank and Gaza Strip. The evaluation will look at the scale of the program, by understanding in detail how market systems changed as a result of the program, and whether these changes will be sustained and/or replicated. The evaluation should draw on lessons from the program as a whole regarding its use and adaptation of the hybrid MSD approach, and its attempt to achieve multiple and potentially interdependent changes. In particular, the evaluation should consider how effective and appropriate this approach has been in progressing economic empowerment for women and youth. The evaluation should also assess the program management performance of the program.