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Mid-term review of project to support agri-finance innovation

The Financial Inclusion for Smallholder Farmers in Africa Project (FISFAP) is a five-year USD 15.5-million project funded by the MasterCard Foundation and implemented by AGRA, which aims to improve food security and incomes of over 700 000 smallholder farmers in Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.

The project provides grants and technical assistance to organisations by developing innovations that improve farmer access to critical financial and non-financial services that can improve their productivity and operations. It also conducts a range of learning activities, aimed at crowding in financial service providers, governments and other organisations to deliver improved financial and non-financial products and services for smallholder farmers.

In 2017, in the third year of FISFAP’s implementation, Genesis was contracted to conduct a mid-term evaluation of the project and provide a review of the project to date. The purpose of the evaluation was to provide a reasoned and independent view of the performance of the project against its intended goals and objectives, as well as its design, achievement and challenges.

The evaluation was conducted using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, including a desktop review; 42 key informant interviews with project staff, partner organisations, consultants and external stakeholders; site visits and focus group discussions with smallholder farmers accessing the products or services funded under FISFAP.

The findings were presented in eight key areas: progress against targets; partner selection and support; implementation successes and challenges; understanding and meeting clients’ needs; impact and additionality; financial sustainability, strategic alignment; and monitoring, evaluation and learning.

Short evaluative overviews of each of FISFAP’s grantees were also provided. The evaluation concluded by providing recommendations to inform future strategy and identify course corrections to adjust project weaknesses as well as enhance and extend project strengths.

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