Future Agricultures Consortium Mid-Term Review

Project Details


Future Agricultures Consortium, a Learning Consortium

Founded in 2005 by a collaborative network of leading African and UK-based research organisations with core support from DFID, the Futures Agricultures Consortium (FAC) seeks to:

"Encourage critical debate and policy dialogue on the future of agriculture in Africa. Through stakeholder-led policy dialogues on fuure scenarios for agriculture and informed by field-based research around 8 themes, the Consortium aims to elaborate the practical and policy challenges of establishing and sustaining pro-poor agricultural growth in Africa"

Over the past 6 years, FAC has developed a strong evidence base for policy influencing around a set of core research themes and engaged with agricultural policy processes at national, regional and global levels. Its main goal according to its latest logframe is to "increase agricultural productivity and reduce poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and improve public policies for pro-poor agricultural growth" while its purpose is to "improve policy and promote agricultural growth and poverty reduction in Africa".

A mid-term review was conducted by UEAs' Professor Frank Ellis and Dr Godfrey Bahiigwa of the Plan for the Modernisation of Agriculture, Uganda in November 2007, during the first phase of the Consortium's operations. This evaluation informed the design and implementation of the 2nd phase of work for FAC and led to the approval of a new 3 years accountable grant by DFID, running from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2013.

The purpose of this MTR will be to evaluate past performane and future plans of the FAC since the last reveiw, against its stated aims and objectives and in relation to its three main output areas.

1) Policy options and their evidence based produced and communicated amongst target audiences for 8 core thematic areas: Policy Processes; Growth and Social Protection; commercialisation; science; technology and innovation; youth and agriculture; climate change and agriculture; land and tenure change; and pastoralism.

2) Capacity of junior African researchers in generating quality policy relevant research and using this to influence policy processes strengthened;

3) Consortium effectively managed and transitions to an African base and sustainable funding;

The MTR will have 3 main tasks:

1) assess the quality of the research evidence base developed by the Consortium, evaluating its impact on key policy debates and making recommendations for future work;
Specific tasks include:
- review relevance, sufficiency and scientific rigour of knowledge outputs
- review the degree to which the outputs capture the gender dimensions of the research topic
- Assess relevance, sufficiency and quality of communication outputs

2) Evaluate the influence FAC has had on key policy debates and actors in Africa, particularly those linked to AU and CAADP processes and the degree to which this had resulted in 'policy strengthening'.
Specific tasks include:
- access degree to which FAC members proactively influence and advise policy at government, NGO and multilateral levels;
- critically reveiw circumstances where research has been transferred into locally generated policy priorities in FAC countries/regions;
- assess the relevance and effectiveness of the capacity developed in research and targeted communication

3) Review and comment on the plans for institutionalising FAC Africa as well as the forward plan for FAC Africa which will form the basis for a multi-donor proposal
- assess any existing risks to achieving the transition to a sustainable consortium and recommend ways to respond to these;
- assess the credibility of the institutionalisation plan having regard to issus of legitimacy, ownership, accountability and sustainability;
- comment on the adequacy of the emerging governance framework and suggest ways of strengthening the framework

Based on all of the above, the MTR will broadly review the degree to which the logframe outputs are being achieved and the likelihood of achieving them by the end of the grant period. The reviewers will look at the degree to which changes in policy and practice can be attributed to the programme. They will consider ans assess the strength of research evidence and policy engagement that represents value for money.
Effective start/end date2/09/1131/03/12


  • Department for International Development: £13,345.00