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Genesis evaluates effectiveness of rural finance learning partner

In 2015, the Mastercard Foundation established the Rural and Agricultural Finance (RAF) Learning Lab (the Lab) as the official learning partner to the Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) and their grantees, as well as a high-level learning partner to the organisations comprising the rest of the Mastercard Foundation’s RAF portfolio.

The purpose of the Lab is to foster knowledge creation, sharing and collaboration among its RAF partners and beyond, thus contributing to the development of better financial solutions for smallholder farmers and rural clients.

Genesis was appointed to conduct the mid-term evaluation of the Lab during the third year of the Lab’s implementation. The evaluation was both backward and forward-looking.

The backward-looking component provided an independent view of the Lab’s performance to date, based on its original design and strategy and considered how the Lab adapted its operations as its strategy evolved. The forward-looking component provided recommendations based on the evaluation findings to inform the Lab’s future strategy, as well as how the Mastercard Foundation should structure future learning partnerships.

The evaluation was conducted using predominantly qualitative data collection methods, and included a collaborative approach known as Appreciative Inquiry (AI). This was used to better understand the organisational change and programmatic development, focusing on what has been positive and valuable, and in turn what needs to be put in place for the Lab to reach their “ideal” situation.

Further to this, Genesis conducted a participatory recommendations workshop with key stakeholders to generate learnings and recommendations that could be realistically implemented based on the Lab’s vision and the evidence generated through the evaluation.

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