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KIT

Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Final evaluation report

May 2015

Mauritskade 63
1092 AD Amsterdam
T: +31 (0)20 568 8711
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www.kit.nl

This report is the product of the external evaluation of the Global Donor Platform for Rural
Development carried out by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT). The views expressed in this report are
those of the authors and the findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed therein do not
necessarily reflect the views of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, its Board or the
members of the Platform.

Table of Contents

List of tables ................................................................................................................................ v


Acronyms ................................................................................................................................... vi
Executive summary ................................................................................................................... viii
1.

Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 1

2.

Methodology ........................................................................................................................ 2

2.1 Evaluation design and data collection ............................................................................................ 2


2.2 Data analysis.................................................................................................................................... 3
2.3 Limitations ....................................................................................................................................... 3
3.

Main findings ....................................................................................................................... 4

3.1 Theory of Change ............................................................................................................................ 4


3.2 Relevance ........................................................................................................................................ 6
3.2.1 Platform relevance past and present ................................................................................. 6
3.2.2 Platform relevance in the future and ability to adapt to changes ..................................... 8
3.2.3 Role of the Platforms leadership and the governance structure in adaptation and
relevance ......................................................................................................................................... 9
3.3 Efficiency ....................................................................................................................................... 10
3.3.1
3.3.2
3.3.3

How efficiently does the Platform use its financial and human resources? .................... 10
Are administrative and operational systems providing good value for money? ............. 13
How does the Platform compare with other similar international networks? ................ 14

3.4 Effectiveness ................................................................................................................................. 16


3.4.1
3.4.2
3.4.3
3.4.4
3.4.5

Work themes ................................................................................................................... 16


Overall accomplishments of the Platform........................................................................ 27
Focused collaboration ...................................................................................................... 28
How do leadership and governance structures ensure quality and usefulness?............. 30
How effective is the Platforms website and virtual communication tools? ................... 31

3.5 Sustainability ................................................................................................................................. 37


3.5.1
3.5.2

How does the Platform ensure its financial sustainability? ............................................. 37


Membership and the FP system in sustainability............................................................. 39

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4.

Conclusions and recommendations ..................................................................................... 41

External sources consulted ......................................................................................................... 45


Annex A: Terms of reference ...................................................................................................... 46
Annex B: List of evaluation participants ...................................................................................... 51
Annex C: List of documents consulted......................................................................................... 57

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List of tables
Table 1: Summary of data sources .......................................................................................................... 2
Table 2a & 2b: Comparison of budgeted costs against actual expenditure ......................................... 10
Table 3: Budget vs. actual expenditure, 2011-2013 ............................................................................ 13
Table 4: Comparison of GFRAS, DCED and the Platform ...................................................................... 15
Table 5: Analysis of work themes ........................................................................................................ 18
Table 6: Comparison of the websites of GFRAS, DCED, FAO and the Platform .................................... 34
Table 7: Platform member contribution arrangements signed and pending, 2009-2015 ................... 38

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Acronyms
AGA
AR4D
ARD
ASTI
BMZ
CAADP
CFS
CGIAR
COP
DAC
DCED
DFATD
DFID
EC
EIARD
ERG
EU
EUFRAS
FAO
FGD
FP
GCARD
GFAR
GFRAS
GIZ
GLTN
IADB
IADG
ICT
IFAD
JICA
KIT
KOICA
MFA
ODA
OECD
PPP
PSD
RBM
SDC
SDG
Sida
SUN

Annual General Assembly


Agricultural Research for Development
Agriculture and Rural Development
Agricultural Science and Technology Program
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme
Committee on Food Security
Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research
Conference of the Parties
Development Assistance Committee
Donor Committee for Enterprise Development
Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada
UK Department for International Development
European Commission
European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development
Evaluation Reference Group
European Union
European Forum for Farm and Rural Advisory Services
Food and Agricultural Organization
Focus Group Discussion
Focal Point
Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development
Global Forum on Agricultural Research
Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services
German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation
Global Land Indicator Initiative
Inter-American Development Bank
Inter-Agency Donor Group
Information and Communication Technology
International Fund for Agricultural Development
Japan International Cooperation Agency
Royal Tropical Institute
Korean International Cooperation Agency
Ministry of/for Foreign Affairs
Official Development Assistance
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
PublicPrivate Partnership
Private Sector Development
Results-Based Management
Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation
Sustainable Development Goal
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Scaling-Up Nutrition

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ToR
UK
UN
UNCCD
UN-Habitat
US
USAID
USP
VGGT

Terms of Reference
United Kingdom
United Nations
UN Convention to Combat Desertification
UN Human Settlements Programme
United States
US Agency for International Development
Unique Selling Point
Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and
Forest in the Context of National Food Security

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Executive summary
The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development commissioned the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) to
undertake an analytical assessment of the implementation of the Platform as a basis for informed
decision-making to guide its future development. The specific objectives of the evaluation were to
assess the relevance and effectiveness of the Platform:

Through the perceptions of the different stakeholders in the institutions of the agriculture and
rural development (ARD) community who are either directly or indirectly involved in Platform
activities; and

By assessing the quality, demand and usefulness of Platform activities.

The assessment was undertaken between August and October 2014 and involved over 60 informants,
ranging from Board members, focal points (FPs) and members of the Secretariat to staff from member
organisations participating in Platform initiatives. KIT also extensively reviewed Platform
documentation, resources and services.
Platform members share a common vision that ARD is central to poverty reduction and a conviction
that sustainable and efficient development requires a coordinated global approach. In practical terms,
this means they collaborate to elaborate products for enhanced investment, advocacy, policy
formulation and improved policy dialogue at national and international level, which support shared
learning and foster harmonisation and alignment. We focus on how this shared conviction is
translated into practice in the functioning of the Platform, and therefore on finding out how relevant
the Platform is in fostering collaboration; its effectiveness in achieving its objective and the quality
and usefulness of its services and products; its overall efficiency; and its sustainability.
Theory of Change
An important assumption of the Platforms Theory of Change is that knowledge-sharing and
networking will lead to the building of common ground. However, although sharing of knowledge may
lead to shared understanding or thinking, this does not necessarily mean a common position will be
established. Networking is seen as a valued dimension of the Platforms Theory of Change but
advocacy and joint positions remain contentious.
Relevance

With pressure on aid funding increasing, the Platform has a role to play in profiling the
importance of sustainable agriculture, rural development and food security for overall
development objectives (including the post-2015 agenda) and in advocating for aid
investment commensurate with the scale of the problems.
The Platform is a way for donors to help each other stay up to date with global developments.
It represents a valuable mechanism for donors to learn about others agendas, coordinate
efforts and liaise on this key global issue. Members felt no other network allowed for
knowledge- and information-sharing and engaging with donors at the headquarters level. This
is especially important for small donor organisations with very few staff and low ARD capacity,
as it provides them with information, knowledge and contacts.

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In a time of increasing bilateralism, the Platform maintains and advocates for much-needed
donor coordination and joint action both at global (policy) level and in implementation.
Whereas the quality of the information the Platform provides is considered adequate, some
mentioned a need to better target it to the needs of its members.
Changes in the environment are giving rise to new issues and priorities that need looking into.
In principle, the work streams/themes provide the opportunity for donors to decide and work
on priority issues that emerge, although they often miss strong(er) leadership.
The Platform is well positioned to actively engage with newcomers to the donor scene,
which are increasingly important in the rural development sector.

Efficiency

The Secretariat gets things done promptly; its policy advisors work with members to develop
content and to profile issues and members appreciate its work. Its efficiency is hindered,
however, by the fact that it often has to wait for members to take the initiative.
The costs of the Secretariat staff are considerable, and is higher in percentage terms than the
target defined in the Platforms 2012-2015 Strategic Plan. However, this is also related to the
Platform structure which is membership based and consequent budget under-spending. See
section 3.3.1 for a fuller discussion.
The Platforms location in the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ)
enables it to efficiently manage recruitment, contracting, administration and finance.
Although indirect costs are high, outsourcing the Secretariat role is unlikely to be acceptable,
as members have rigorous requirements in relation to handing over their membership fee,
even to another public institution such as GIZ.
A number of procedural changes have helped streamline decision-making and functioning, but
the Platforms membership-based nature means not all activities can be done in an efficient
manner. Processes of approval, for example on the production of written materials, require
negotiation and agreement between members, which is time-consuming.
Most meetings are virtual, which makes strategic discussions harder. More face-to-face
meetings in the work streams, focusing specifically on content, would be useful.
The Platform consistently spent less than was budgeted each year between 2011 and 2013.
This is mainly because members are overwhelmed by their own workloads, and have little
time left for the Platform activities they need to lead.
The Secretariat spends a great deal of time and energy pushing members to move on things
and to keep the process going. This is commendable but not necessarily efficient.
Allocation of resources that can be carried over and that are not earmarked is essential to the
Platforms efficiency and effectiveness and should be maintained.

Effectiveness

General analysis of the work done under the Platform themes (in particular that on land
governance and agricultural research for development (AR4D)) shows that:
o The Platform is perceived to be an efficient and effective organiser of work themes.
Hosting already existing working groups is beneficial both for the Platform (which builds
on their visibility and avoids duplication) and for the working groups concerned.

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A case study of the Global Donor Working Group on Land illustrates that it is the initiative
of Platform members that amplifies the profile and influence of the Platform. The logic of
membership-based networks is that members act on their areas of interest with other
like-minded members to push the profile of their theme on the policy agenda. In the
absence of such initiatives, the Platform and work themes remain inert.
o The flexibility of the Platform work streams is generally seen as an added value. Issues
come and go and merge, and the work stream approach allows for this. The case study on
AR4D illustrates the ebb and flow of work stream activity.
Annual Progress Reports and Annual Reports do not give a clear analysis of what in the
workplan has been implemented, what has not and why. Such information should be available
for use internally for monitoring and learning.
One of the Platforms accomplishments relates to facilitating linkages, networking and
coordination between members. For example, the Annual General Assembly (AGA) plays a
convening role, bringing people together and raising the profile of particular themes.
Some find it difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is the Platform accomplishes and thus to justify
participation to their headquarters. Networking, knowledge exchange and coordination
cannot be quantified or clearly attributed. This is particularly problematic in an environment
where donors want to see clear links between funded activities and results.
The Platform often spreads itself too thinly, over too many themes. Focus is important but
cannot come at the cost of (diminished) commitment by members who are not interested in
prioritised themes. In practice, not all work streams are operational and active in the same
year: work often follows international events on particular topics, and it is here where
Platform members can have an impact. Following on from this it is advisable that the Platform
pinpoints a limited number of work themes (e.g. 4) which are likely to be prominent for ARD
in the upcoming year and on which global conferences and consultations are to be organised.
This prioritisation of themes should become a feature of the annual work planning exercise
and the AGA.
Internal advocacy means supporting FPs to influence their national development policies.
This is particularly important for small donor countries, which can refer to Platform
documents and consult their peers when they need to substantiate their views on ARD. The
Platform could strengthen its work in this area by engaging more actively with high-level
policy-makers from member countries/organisations.
External advocacy means efforts to influence processes beyond the national policy arena.
Here, the Platform can only go so far: policies are made by national governments, which do
not accept direct external interference, and members may be unable to contradict their
organisations interests through a common ground position in the Platform.
One important dilemma is whether to push workplan adherence or to act more organically on
upcoming opportunities, leaving plans when they turn out to be not realistic or relevant. The
Platform should (continue to) strike a balance here, although this is possible only if it can count
on real commitment from the chairs/Board and if the Secretariats mandate is revised.
From 2012 to October 2014, the overall number of website visits decreased every month. The
website provides a great deal of information but not in the most attractive, easily accessible
and inviting manner, despite the use of multimedia and innovative formats. It needs fewer
interviews and virtual briefings, shorter pieces and better technical quality. There is also an
urgent need to redesign the website from a technical and content point of view, given that

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

the Platforms main ways of communicating, sharing knowledge and networking are and will
remain virtual.
Sustainability

The Platform should be able to count on more donors that are willing to provide multi-year
funding. The Board could also reconsider the donor membership fee on the basis of the new
Strategic Plan and the history of the Platforms expenditure rates, including 2014 data.
Changes in the aid scenario and the emergence of new actors, both governmental and private,
in the ARD field mean expanding membership is important, both to sustain the Platform and
for financial stability. At present, efforts are underway to first include traditional donors and
multilateral members (Iceland, Norway, UN Women), then non-traditional donors such as
Korea, and finally foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Platform
should not shy away from engaging with other emerging donors (such as Brazil, China and
India).
Including the private sector, a new stakeholder in this arena, does not mean such actors
should become members. They should be engaged with and invited to main events and
dialogue processes to promote responsible investment and support to smallholders.
Although there seems to be no alternative to the FP mechanism structure, it is problematic:
FPs have difficulties carving out the time to be involved in Platform activities, given their own
work schedules. The Secretariat needs to engage actively with members to ensure better
recognition of FPs and clarify the requirements in terms of time allocation.

Recommendations
Generally, the Platform works well as a network of diverse donors that share a common concern for
reducing poverty through ARD. Its strategies of knowledge-sharing, networking and advocacy are
relevant to and effective for members, to whose work and investments it adds value. For many
members, it provides the only space for multilateral interactions.
Given this, its challenge in the present and in the future is to hold on to and expand this multilateral
space in the donor community, in a world of increasing bilateralism, in order to make agriculture work
for rural development and poverty reduction.
Preserving its uniqueness means members urgently need to appreciate its strengths, and accept its
limitations including the many compromises needed to maintain coherent membership of diverse
donors.
Critical issues related to governance, structure and membership need attention in order to make the
Platform fit for purpose in the future. The following are the evaluation teams recommendations
which do not entail increased budgets assuming timely payment of membership fees:
1. Designing the upcoming strategic planning process to clarify, communicate and engender
renewed commitment to the remit of the Platform. In particular, there needs to be agreement and
ownership of the nature of the Platform as a membership-based organisation.

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Clarify and agree how, when and under what conditions the Platform takes on external
advocacy, in the realisation that it is very difficult in an efficient and effective manner to
reach consensus on policy content that goes beyond the general ideas and principles the
common ground papers currently cover.
Conduct more proactive internal advocacy through, for example, high-profile meetings for
members to discuss issues of particular importance. Such meetings can be content-based and
aim at putting certain (upcoming) themes, problems or opportunities on the agenda.
Accept that the level of activity of particular work streams will wax and wane depending on
factors such as interest and ability of members to work on an issue and profile of the issue on
the global agenda. As part of a donor network, members have an influence on these factors
(see more on work streams below).

2. Expand the stakeholder base of the Platform.

Remain focused on the Platform being a network of donor members, while understanding and
adapting to the evolving nature of the term and role of donors.
Continue and increase the proactive engagement of donor members by increasing the profile
of the Platform, such as through outreach and selling (e.g. visits to and presentations for
member organisations). This creates Platform visibility, generates internal support and
interest and increases the breadth and depth of member interactions.
Continue with and strengthen Platform efforts to expand membership (traditional donors and
multilateral members, then non-traditional donors, then foundations); do not shy away from
engaging with other emerging donors.
Strategically engage with private sector stakeholders (as neither members nor partners) to
share information and experiences and influence the pro-poor agenda.

3. Reform the roles of the Secretariat. There is a clear need to change the Secretariat role to allow it
to take more initiative so as to make it easier for members to implement activities. It is critical to
empower the Secretariat so it can get things done by catalysing, following up on and supporting
members work. Delegating certain decision-making to the Secretariat could take place within a
framework that clearly describes its role, decision-making level and remit as well as check-and-balance
mechanisms to maintain the membership-based character of the organisation and its flexibility in
adapting and responding to emerging trends. This would mean:

Providing it with a clear mandate to:


o Conduct preliminary work (hold initial discussions, attend meetings) to better understand
key emerging issues and opportunities.
o Suggest emerging issues and opportunities to be taken on board by the Platform on the
basis of preliminary assessment.
o Implement member-driven workplans, approved by the Board taking the lead where a
member does not have the capacity to do so.
Changing/strengthening its (staff) composition to accommodate recognised technical
expertise and leadership in the sector, without becoming any larger.

4. Strengthen work themes. The work themes are the soul of the Platforms content work.

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It is important to make explicit decisions to prioritise a few themes per year. Priority themes
could be decided on depending on the international events to take place that year, given the
finding that members have in the past energised their work on themes around particular
global events.
To make sure Platform discussions go (more often) beyond administrative matters, it could
support more face-to-face work stream meetings focusing specifically on content.
The Secretariat could attend meetings of other networks as a way of exchanging information
and intelligence and feeding it back to Platform members. Active connecting links could
appear on each networks website.

5. Improve the functioning of the interface between the Platform and members. Ways of making the
role of FPs more sustainable (and recognised) include the following:

Organise higher-level meetings for member organisations policy-makers, as already


suggested, to increase the interest of donors in the Platform.
(Continue to) visit large members to make the Platform better known and to clarify the role
and responsibilities of FPs.
Mandate the Secretariat and/or the Board to openly discuss the challenges facing FPs at the
AGA and during discussions with the FPs and support them in internal negotiations to have
more time to devote to the Platform.
Better institutionalise the FP role by providing more written guidance, support better
transition between FPs, such as through orientations and handover documentation and
provide closer support in their initial work period so they can see the value of their role.

6. Improve the Platforms knowledge and information products and services.

Have fewer interviews and virtual briefings, shorter pieces and better technical quality.
Redesign the website from a technical and content point of view, including redesigning the
home page to simplify it and give a strong first impression, setting up options for interaction
(a comments section) and improving overall usability by developing a user strategy.
Link Platform information systems to those of individual members and provide an interface to
increase and facilitate two-way sharing of information. This could include collecting and
presenting comparative information and data (e.g. a page that has all donor ARD or gender
policies, budgets, etc.).

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1.

Introduction

Established in 2003, the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (the Platform) is a network
of 38 bilateral and multilateral donors, international financing institutions, intergovernmental
organisations and development agencies. It endorses and works towards the common objectives of
its member organisations to support poverty reduction in developing countries and enhance
sustainable economic growth in rural areas. Its vision is to be a collective, recognised and influential
voice, adding value to and reinforcing aid effectiveness in the agricultural and rural development
(ARD) strategies and actions of member organisations in support of partner countries.
The Platform actively promotes effective policy as well as public and private investment, both external
and domestic, in rural development as a central element of the international sustainable development
agenda. It does this by:

Advocating with policy- and decision-makers;


Sharing knowledge among Platform members and relevant actors;
Facilitating networking and cooperation with and between relevant actors.

In coming to the end of its 2012-2014 strategic plan, and also its first decade of operation, the Platform
commissioned the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) to undertake an evaluation1 (see Annex A for Terms
of Reference, ToR). The objective of this was to provide Platform members with an analytical
assessment of the Platforms implementation. This assessment was then to be available for use as a
basis for informed decision-making to guide the Platforms future development.
The specific objectives of the evaluation were to assess the relevance and effectiveness of the
Platform:

Through the perceptions of different stakeholders in the ARD community who were either
directly or indirectly involved in Platform activities; and
By directly analysing the quality, demand and usefulness of Platform activities.

Section 2 of this report reviews the methodology used in the evaluation. Section 3 contains the main
findings of the evaluation. Section 4 presents conclusions and recommendations.

The evaluation also serves as a Project Progress Review (for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and
Development, BMZ) and a Mid-Term Review (for the European Commission, EC).

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

2.

Methodology

2.1

Evaluation design and data collection

KITs methodology, as outlined in its proposal, involved drawing on qualitative research that
privileged the perceptions of different Platform stakeholders. The evaluation assessed the relevance
and effectiveness based on perceptions of different stakeholders, particularly members.
Perception was treated as data as outlined in the proposal and, by definition, is subjective,
inasmuch as data is about what informants believe think, and act out. The theoretical premise is
that those involved in and working on the issue and in the Platform itself are the knowers (Harding,
1987). They are subjectively engaged in the production of knowledge through the understandings
they bring and the way they act, or do not act, on these understandings in their work. KIT gathered
evidence from informants to support perceptions and triangulated information from secondary
sources.
The methodology also relied on the understanding that knowledge does not get translated into
practice in a linear fashion (Lewis and Mosse 2006). Knowledge sharing, networking and advocacy is
not linked by a chain of causality. In keeping with qualitative research methodologies, therefore, KIT
pursued a line of inductive inquiry that emphasized questions of 'why' and 'how' rather than
attribution and causality.
Accordingly, from August to October 2014, KIT undertook a review of Platform literature, conducted
interviews and focus groups discussions (FGDs) with key informants and undertook participant
observation2 (see Table 1 for a summary and Annex B for a list of evaluation participants).3
The evaluation studied all available documents on all work streams/themes (see Annex C for a list of
documents consulted) and carried out a more detailed case study analysis of two themes.
Table 1: Summary of data sources
Number
Interviewees and FGD participants (overall)

55

Board members interviewed (including chairs, past and present)

11

Focal points (past and present) interviewed

22

Secretariat members (past and present) interviewed

Member organisations directly involved in evaluation interviews and FGDs

19

Platform documents consulted

63

The KIT team attended two side events of the 41st Session of the Committee on World Food Security: one by the Global
Donor Working Group on Land and one on the Impact of Food Safety on Nutrition Security by the Italian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and International Cooperation-Italy and the Platform.
3 This was based on the evaluation framework developed by KIT and submitted to the Platform Evaluation Reference Group
on 10 September 2014.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

2.2

Data analysis

Primary data (interviews, FGDs and observation notes) was cleaned and analysed using a three-tier
coding process by employing open, axial, and selective coding (Strauss and Corbin, 1998). Emerging
themes related to Relevance, Efficiency, Effectiveness and Sustainability were identified. Text-based
data (documentation, evaluation and other reports, interview and FGD data, case study reports etc.)
was analysed using a grid of the four areas of evaluation and themes were identified. In addition an
analysis of the Platform web site and efficiency was undertaken using comparators of similar
organisations. The data was triangulated to arrive at findings and conclusions.
2.3

Limitations

In the course of this evaluation, KIT adhered to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC)
Principles for the Evaluation of Development Assistance (1991) of impartiality, independence,
credibility and usefulness. However, the evaluation experienced a number of constraints, for which
mitigation measures were taken. These included:

Delays in appointment, in contracting and in approval of the evaluation framework: Before


data collection started, KIT experienced a number of key stage delays that prevented it from
starting the work. This meant less time for implementation and data analysis than was
originally planned.
Mitigation: The Secretariat showed flexibility in contracting and provided timely support and
information once implementation began.
Low level of response: In some cases, focal points (FPs) had only recently been appointed, so
they were not able to give a full account of their organisations experience with the Platform.
Mitigation: KIT interviewed previous FPs where possible.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

3.

Main findings

This section discusses the Platforms Theory of Change, followed by the main evaluation findings under
four sub-themes (relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability). Section 3.4 on effectiveness
also describes and analyses the Platforms work under the work themes.
3.1

Theory of Change

Implicit in the mandate of the Platform is an understanding of how change happens and the Platforms
role in facilitating this change. KIT explored this theme by making this theory explicit and assessing its
resonance with members.
The Platforms Theory of Change derives from its main goal, that of increasing the quality
(effectiveness) and quantity of investments in rural development. It can be simplified as in Figure 1.
Outputs

Making (external)
knowledge/
information
available to
donors

Sharing
information/
knowledge
between donors

Outcomes

Impact

Better-informed
donor policies
and practices

Increased
investment in, and
quality of,
development
assistance in
agriculture, rural
development and
food security

Better
coordination
between donors

Common ground
between donors

Joint advocacy
for more
resources to rural
development

Figure 1: Simplified version of the Platforms Theory of Change


The Platforms mandate stems from four valued assumptions on how it works and how change can
occur:
1. Members should and can find common ground.
2. Knowledge should and can be shared.
3. Networking enables the sharing of information and experience that contribute to common
ground and coordination.
4. With common ground, advocacy can be undertaken on shared issues.
We explored these assumptions behind the Theory of Change.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

First, the Platform allows donors to work together on select issues to develop common approaches or
positions. This is important, particularly for internal advocacy (advocacy within the members own
organisation). There is weight in being able to claim 38 donors support on a particular position.
We make two distinctions here. One concerns the difference between sharing knowledge and
establishing a common approach: the latter does not necessarily follow from the former; nor does it
need to. Information can be shared in helpful ways without leading to an agreed approach.
Similarly, there are distinctions between shared understanding or thinking, a shared position and a
common agenda. If there were no such distinctions, this would suggest a continuum concerning the
Platforms Theory of Change and the links between sharing knowledge and information, networking
and advocacy.
Second, knowledge shared includes information, intelligence, expertise and experience, with an
emphasis on best practice. For some informants, the Platform is a go-to source for credible and
accessible information. For example, policy analysts of one member organisation found the Platform
was a good one-stop shop for global information when compiling position papers for its ministry,
which helped reduce transaction costs. For small donor agencies with few staff and resources,
consulting the Platform is an efficient way to get information, particularly when such information has
already undergone a vetting process. Some informants suggested this advantage could be further
exploited if the Platform were used as a repository for members policies.
Third, networking is seen as a particularly valid dimension of the Platforms Theory of Change,
particularly for those working in ARD. For most member organisations, the number of staff working
on ARD is limited; knowing others in other organisations working on ARD is helpful. The networking
opportunities provided by the Annual General Assembly (AGA) and participation in work under the
themes allow for establishing rapport and familiarity, thereby facilitating information- and knowledgesharing. A number of informants said they found it useful in their own work to be able to contact
others informally to ask questions and share intelligence.
It was particularly appreciated that the Platform has created an open and safe space for people to
meet and exchange as equals. In Platform fora, members can talk openly without feeling they will be
held to commitments or approached for funding: Platform events are understood to be opportunities
for exchange, not for open or explicit solicitations for financial support. This appreciation underlines
the need to maintain (and increase if possible) the number of face-to-face meetings as opposed to
virtual meetings.
Fourth is the advocacy dimension of the Platforms Theory of Change. This is the most contentious
where there is the least agreement. The Platforms membership agrees on forwarding the ARD agenda
but the challenge remains, particularly with regard to the collective. Some advocate joint policymaking based on an agreed policy stand but most reject it. One main reason is that member
organisations want to see policy as their own and not have to compromise by working with others. In
addition, policy-making is seen as more of a bilateral than a multilateral process. There is also concern
regarding the lack of influence of the Platform, given its overall low profile in multilateral policy arenas,
although recent cases related to land and aflatoxin are exceptions to this observation.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Member organisations are more comfortable with members using the Platform to advocate within
their own organisations. But there are challenges with this too. Platform influence within member
organisations is limited to very few people and FPs. Awareness of the Platform is often limited to FPs,
who are often not policy-makers.
The case study on land governance (see Section 3.4) illustrates the validity of some of the assumptions
in the Platforms Theory of Change without establishing a chain of causality.
3.2

Relevance

In studying the relevance of the Platform, we sought information on the following questions:

3.2.1

Are the Platforms objectives and strategies consistent with international frameworks past
and present?
How are its strategies and objectives adapting to the evolving global aid context?
What does the Platform need to do to be relevant in the post-2015 context?
What is the role of the Platforms leadership and its governance structure (Board, governance
processes, decision-making and operationalisation e.g. Secretariat) in terms of it being
adaptive and continuously relevant?
Platform relevance past and present

Despite this historic shift towards urbanisation, poverty remains largely a rural problem: a majority of
the worlds poor will live in rural areas for many decades to come. Of the 1.4 billion people living on
less than US$1.25 a day in 2005, around 70 percent lived in rural areas. In South Asia, South East Asia
and Sub-Saharan Africa, over three-quarters of the poor live in rural areas, and the proportion is barely
declining (IFAD, 2010). These figure suggest rural development efforts in the South are and will
remain of utmost importance. Such efforts also present the world with a set of critical challenges
that will require coordinated efforts and well-targeted use of global public goods.
Nevertheless, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures show official
development assistance (ODA) in ARD fell from 23 percent of sector-allocable aid in the mid-1980s to
only 9 percent in 2010, reaching its lowest figures around 2003 (OECD, 2012).
The World Bank 2003-2008 rural development strategy summarises the general feeling of urgency at
the time of the establishment of the Platform in 2003:
Today three out of every four of the worlds poor live in rural areas. There will be no success in the war on
poverty unless we take the fight to where those people live. Yet, over the last decade lending to rural
development, and especially to agriculture, has been in unprecedented decline [] This situation cannot
continue (World Bank, 2003).

In recent years, however since the Platform was set up aid to agriculture has increased. This is
partly because of an increase in total ODA since 2002, but also it responds to increased concerns over
food security and a renewed interest in agricultural technology for the poor (OECD, 2012).
This increased attention to ARD cannot be directly attributed to the Platform, although the literature
does refer to its role in providing better information on aid to agriculture (see, e.g., Chimhowu, 2013).
Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Other networks dealing with issues related to rural development have also appeared/resurfaced in
the past decade. Examples are the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the Global Forum
for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) and Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN). Issues have also caught the
attention of groups such as the G-20. As a result, the sustainable agriculture, rural development and
food security international forum has become increasingly complex, with a vast number of
international meetings and events being held.
In this dynamic environment, the Platform has become for those actively engaged a way for donors
to help each other stay up to date with global developments. Work on agricultural research for
development (AR4D) in preparation for the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for
Development (GCARD) back in 2012, reviewed in Section 3.4, is proof of that. The quality of the
information the Platform provides is considered adequate, but some mention the need to better
target it. Information provided via e-mail, particularly when covering a vast content area, is sometimes
lost in the pile of messages donor staff face daily.
The Platform still has a unique place compared with other platforms, by playing a convening role and,
in some cases, allowing for opportunities for collaboration, such as on livestock issues. Members felt
no other network allowed for knowledge- and information-sharing and engaging with donors at
headquarters level.
Note that working at a global level is not as important for all members. For example, the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB) already has regional networks, so the value of working globally is
not apparent. Similarly, for those agencies that implement programmes primarily at the national level,
having a global dimension is not so critical.
This tension between working globally and working nationally is not necessarily a hindrance, but
rather a space in which the Platform can play a role. In a time of increasing bilateralism, the Platform
maintains and advocates for multilateralism. It provides global coordination where this is needed but
then allows for bilateralism when necessary, such as in implementation.
Although admittedly imperfect, the Platforms niche role of bringing donors together also means
organisations both small and big can share their agendas. Reciprocal information exchange enables
visibility and the reaching of a wider audience. This serves the needs of its diverse membership: larger
organisations can make information available through the Platform that might have a different
reception if it were made available directly, given preconceived ideas about such organisations. For
smaller organisations with very few staff and low ARD capacity, the Platform can provide (otherwise
out-of-reach) information, knowledge and contacts.
The Platform convenes a mix of donors, allowing for a critical mass; individual members would not be
able to do this to such a degree. For example, the EC could not include the US Agency for International
Development (USAID) in its work on livestock because the latter is not a member of the Community.
The AGA was cited as being particularly beneficial, in that different actors and stakeholders come
together, allowing for innovative discussions and exchanges.
Analysis of secondary data, such as Platform documents, revealed members felt its relevance lay in
the safe space it provided for donors to meet and talk about issues and reach common positions

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

without having to achieve actual consensus. The 2011 Mid-Term Evaluation suggests members are in
agreement on the importance of the Platform in this regard. Similarly, in the 2013 Membership Survey,
members found, albeit to varying degrees, the Platform to be useful and of value.4
The Platform helps move agendas in a way that individual organisations cannot, according to some
members. An example given relates to networking between members on nutrition and food security,
especially on building awareness about aflatoxins in the food chain an issue that has been discussed
in the health and nutrition sector but whose importance for agriculture is yet to be realised. Through
active networking, knowledge-sharing and event organisation by interested members, the theme
gained purchase among others, many of whom were originally sceptical.
Having said that, the value-added from working collectively has changed. Initially, working together
to get agriculture on the agenda was a galvanising force. This need to work in collaboration is generally
still valid (although it has changed in nature), but there is also disagreement. While this does not
challenge the Platforms knowledge and networking functions, it speaks to the tension related to how
far common approaches and collaboration should go.
Some interviewees were critical of the Platform, feeling it had deviated from the principles that had
originally given it relevance. For example, it was felt the aid effectiveness agenda was the Platforms
cornerstone and its relevance had in the past lain in bringing donors together and coordinating on aid
to ARD. This focus has shifted somewhat as a result of the many technical work themes the Platform
is currently involved in. Another point of criticism was that the Platform was not a place where
strategic discussions and decisions were happening. Some were disappointed the Platform had not
been able to take on board present discussions about the changing nature of aid, such as on the
relationship between aid and trade in development cooperation.
3.2.2

Platform relevance in the future and ability to adapt to changes

The two questions on the ability to adapt and to remain relevant in the future are treated together.
Several factors in the changing aid environment are giving rise to the need to rethink the Platforms
objectives, strategies and composition. One of these is the general shrinking of aid budgets, which is
likely to have an impact on the resources available for ARD more specifically. Shrinking ODA may also
lead to reduced staffing in donor bodies, as has already happened in many cases. Members are already
finding it hard to devote time to the Platform; with fewer staff and increasing workloads, this pressure
is likely to worsen.
Changes in the environment are giving rise to new issues and priorities. In principle, the work themes
provide the opportunity for donors to decide and work on priority issues as they emerge, although
they often miss strong(er) leadership.
The Platform has undertaken a number of initiatives to respond to or stay ahead of future trends. For
example, interviewees were very appreciative of the post-2015 study the Platform commissioned.

A 2013 survey by the Secretariat, with the participation of 25 FPs; 11 members were not involved.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Some interviewees felt emerging issues, such as the growing importance of publicprivate
partnerships (PPPs) and the aid and trade agenda, needed more active consideration.
Sustainable agriculture, rural development and food security are global issues, and ones with which
new donors and funders are starting to engage. Some referred to the need to include other voices
than the current members of the Platform that is, the traditional OECD donor group. Inclusion of
private sector bodies and foundations is being actively discussed, and a new Member Engagement
and Partnership Development Strategy, which also covers engagement with private foundations, is
being developed.
Meanwhile, potential new members have been or are being approached. For example, the
MasterCard Foundation was invited to participate in the 2014 AGA. The 2013 Annual Report mentions
these forward-looking changes: The growing demand for the Platform in its advocacy roles, and
especially vis--vis the 2015 agenda, urged us to re-think our mission statement to promote effective
policy and public and private investment, both external and domestic, in rural development as a
central element of the international sustainable development agenda.
When asked about engagement with other donors, members views ranged from outright opposition
to private sector actors to incremental inclusion of private foundations in events organised by the
Platform, such as the AGA. Some members suggested engagement with new government donors from
outside Europe and the Americas, such as Brazil, China and India. Others felt that, as a first step, more
members should be brought in from the OECD, such as the Korean International Cooperation Agency
(KOICA) (which became a member in August 2014), then private foundations. The Platform provides
an opportunity for constructive engagement with these new players, but including them will change
the nature of the conversation Platform members have been used to up to now. It could also have
implications for the secure space donors feel they have in the Platform to talk about critical issues.
These issues are discussed further in Section 3.5 on sustainability.
3.2.3

Role of the Platforms leadership and the governance structure in adaptation and relevance

Member participation and Platform openness to change course rapidly are key elements to respond
to emerging issues.
Some suggested the recent invitation to all members to join monthly management meetings had
promoted more participation. Many interviewees appreciated the current mix of co-chairs, with one
located at headquarters and the other in an embassy the latter allowing the Platform access to policy
arenas as well as knowledge on what is going on in recipient countries. Nevertheless, the effectiveness
of the current co-chairs seems to come much more from a strong personal commitment and (alreadybuilt) knowledge of local realities in recipient countries.
The platform elaborates workplans every year. These are seen as flexible, in the sense that they can
change as the years goes by to tend to (other/additional) strategic issues. Nevertheless, some said
flexibility was actually very limited. The Platform tends to concentrate on getting (planned) things
done, and may, in the process, miss important (unforeseen) opportunities.
To be nimble and flexible, the Platform needs either a visionary Board or to delegate more power to
the Secretariat to take initiative and be more proactive. This leads directly to a discussion on the role
Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

of the Secretariat in facilitating adaption, with the inevitable debates regarding whether it needs
empowering to be more dynamic, whether it should have a more technical role in developing work
themes or whether it should merely be facilitative.
3.3

Efficiency

In investigating the efficiency of the Platform, the following questions were addressed:

3.3.1

How is the Platform perceived in terms of its use of financial and human resources?
Are the administrative and operational systems providing good value for money?
How does the cost/quality of Platform products and services compare with a similar type of
international network?
How efficiently does the Platform use its financial and human resources?

According to the Platform indicative Budgets 2012 and 2013 the Secretariat was supposed to be
composed of the following: coordinator, task leader ARD, communications officer, CAADP task
leader, junior professional officer, office manager (70%), contract and finance administrator 1 & 2,
and interns for programme and coordination. The actual number of staff (as against the estimated
number) has varied in both years with the CAADP task officer taken out of the secretariat altogether
in 2013. According to the audited accounts the actual expenditure for salaries added up to 481,379
in 2012 and 523,116 in 2013 or 39 percent of overall costs in 2012 and 54 percent in 2013 (see
tables below). The rise in percentage of staff costs in 2013 as compared to 2012 can be attributed to
a number of reasons, the salient being the steep drop in the Activity expenditures in that year (as a
percentage of the total costs) compared to 2012. As is explained in the following sections, this drop
in Activity expenditure is a structural feature of a membership based organisation like the Platform
where the role of the Secretariat is to support members who initiate the activities. Thus while the
staff costs may remain at similar levels to previous years it varies as a percentage of the total costs in
a given year because planned activities have not been initiated by members.
Table 2a & 2b: Comparison of budgeted costs against actual expenditure
2012
Budget
Expenditure

Total
1,428,666
1,238,257.66

Activity
461.800
491,341.17

Staff
624,496
481,378.78

2013
Budget
Expenditure

Total
1,299,839
959,649.53

Activity
362,300
197,363.16

Staff
618,000
523,115.58

The issue of how efficiently the Platform uses it financial and human resources is grouped into four
categories: the Secretariat and efficiency; location and position of the Platform and efficiency;
procedural changes to aid efficiency; and comparison with similar types of international networks.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

10

The Secretariat and efficiency


Overall, there is considerable appreciation of the role of the Secretariat, as both interviews and the
2013 Membership Survey revealed. The Secretariat is very responsive, and considers and follows up
on issues members raise. It has played an important role where it has been requested to do so.
The discussion on whether the Secretariat is worth its price is inextricably linked to that of its role.
Some members felt it was expensive, given that its role is limited to carrying out the wishes of its
members, facilitating knowledge exchange and sometimes pushing to get things done. Some felt its
role was expanding, undermining the membership-driven character of the Platform; others felt that,
to increase efficiency and get things done, it needed to be empowered. Some even suggested the
Platform needed an Executive Secretariat to increase efficiency, since members simply did not have
the time to be involved in all Platform activities.
All in all, the costs of the Secretariat staff are considerable and higher in percentage terms than the
target defined in the Platforms 2012-2015 Strategic Plan.5 However, this is also related to budget
under-spending, a factor discussed in the previous section and hereafter.
Location and position of the Platform and efficiency
The Platform Secretariat is hosted by BMZ, with GIZ (the German Federal Enterprise for International
Cooperation) contracted to manage the Platform multi-donor trust fund and the Secretariat, applying
standard GIZ financial and administrative procedures.
The location of the Platform in GIZ is generally appreciated because of the latters capacity to
efficiently manage hiring, contracting, finances and other administrative and organisational matters.
The location was also said to be of advantage when recruiting high-quality staff internationally for the
Secretariat, since GIZ is seen to be a good employer. Some members require a due diligence
assessment before renewing their funding, on which the Platform scores highly.
The Platforms indirect cost is at the high end but acceptable, particularly given the high transaction
costs of managing and coordinating a membership organisation and their different financial
procedures and requirements.
Outsourcing the Secretariat role to a consultancy firm is unlikely to be acceptable, as members are
public organisations and have very special and rigorous requirements in relation to handing over their
membership fee, even to another public institution such as GIZ.
Procedural changes to aid efficiency
Several changes have been introduced gradually in the way the Platform is run, so as to make decisionmaking quicker and more efficient. In earlier years, work planning was a cumbersome process
generally a wish-list of all the things members wanted to do. It took till the end of the first quarter of
the workplan year to obtain final approval for the workplan and budget, which delayed the start of
5

The Strategic Plan foresees that 20 percent of the available budget will be used for Governance, secretariat management,
administration. Even without full clarity as to what can be included in such a category, the Secretariat staff costs alone are
presently much higher than the target figure.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

11

activities. By switching to a system whereby the workplan proposal is presented to the AGA and
approved soon after, delays are being avoided. Workplans are also less detailed than before under
results-based management (RBM). Since the Platform does not have projects or conduct project
management, a RBM framework for the workplan and budget was tending to slow down management
and also left little room for manoeuvre.
Meanwhile, the frequency and structure of management meetings have made it possible for members
to participate virtually in decision-making on a monthly basis if they choose to. Lean agendas (on three
top priorities members have already indicated) and prior preparation by the Secretariat have made
decision-making more nimble. A Budget Committee is being introduced to make financial decisionmaking more efficient.
However, because of the nature of the Platform itself, not all decision-making can be made more
efficient. For example, when consensus or agreement has to be sought, this can mean a process of
negotiation, since its members are bound first and foremost by their respective governments policy
frameworks. The approval and agreement processes can be slow when they have to go through 14
members, all of whom have little time available to respond.
The process of decision-making and getting things done is sped up when one or two members, who
have a special interest in a subject, collaborate closely with a Secretariat staff member such as when
producing an information note. It gets more cumbersome when a large group is interested in a theme
and everybody in that group has to participate. This is the (unavoidable) price to pay for ownership
and commitment from members.
Despite more efficient decision-making, most meetings, especially monthly management meetings,
are mainly about running the Platform. There is little space for content discussion in these meetings,
the two face-to-face Board meetings per year or, for that matter, the AGA, although the latter does
have a content theme. An analysis of Board meetings and monthly management meetings shows the
focus is mainly on administrative decisions (dates, logistics) and also updates on primarily
administrative and process-related issues of working groups.
Some members mentioned that the virtual nature of most meetings made it harder to have more
strategic discussions; their suggestion was to have more Platform-wide face-to-face meetings. It is
unlikely such face-to-face meetings will be effective and efficient, given the related costs and the
already overstretched agendas of members staff. A better alternative is more face-to-face meetings
on the work themes, focusing specifically on content.
Dilemma of spending less than budgeted: inefficient or characteristic?
The Platform has spent less each year than is budgeted for. Table 2 shows the difference between
indicative budgets and actual expenditure (audited) for the years 2011-2013

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

12

Table 3: Budget vs. actual expenditure, 2011-2013 (till June 2013) ()


Year

Indicative
budget

Actual amounts spent


(audited accounts)

Difference

Financial contributions
to the Platform

2011

2,734,261

1,845,773

888,488

1,156,153

2012

1,428,666

1,238,258

190,408

1,712,179

2013

1,299,839

959,650

340,189

745,601

Total

5,462,766

4,043,681

1,419,085

3,613,933

The activities budget line accounts for most of the difference. In most organisational circumstances,
this would mean activities do not get done. However, it is important to ask how activities do get done,
and who does them. In a membership-based network structure like the Platform, the members are
the initiators; the Secretariat plays a supportive role and provides services. The completion of activities
included in the workplan each year is therefore dependent on the member(s) concerned (those who
propose the activity), with the Secretariat following their lead. Up until 2013, the method of creating
workplans through consultations at the AGA meant activities were merely a list of proposals as to what
members wanted to organise. In reality, as the year went on, they were unable to follow through
because of their own busy schedules. In such cases, planned activities do not get implemented, even
if staff at the Secretariat is in place to help members do so.
Meanwhile, the largest under-spend between 2011 and 2013, for which audited accounts are
available, was in 2011. This was also the last year in which results-based budgeting was used: this
format limits space for flexibility, which may partly account for the logjam and the considerable
difference between the amounts budgeted and actually spent.
Some members argue the Platforms under-spending is related directly to levels of funding that are
higher than necessary. Nevertheless, despite the big difference between budgeted and spent
resources, for 2011-2013 the amount spent was still larger than financial contributions to the
Platform. This is because some donors provide multi-year funding, which means funding can be carried
over from one year to another. Such flexibility (i.e. allocation of resources that can be carried over and
that are not earmarked to specific themes) is essential to the Platforms efficiency and effectiveness
and should be maintained. Were the Platform first to develop a yearly workplan and then to request
donor funding, such flexibility would largely be lost. Instead, requests could be based on the longerterm (and more general) strategic plan.
3.3.2

Are administrative and operational systems providing good value for money?

Interviewees were of the opinion that the Platform gave them value for money. First and foremost,
donors need a space where they can talk to each other, and the Platform serves this purpose well. For
very little money, members have access to a network, knowledge on who is working on certain topics
in different agencies and the chance to meet different people. The difficult lies in defining what
members receive: the above benefits give participants synergies in terms of what they are doing,
which is valuable in itself, but are difficult to measure in monetary terms.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

13

Interviewees felt the Secretariat provided timely and quality assistance to work themes. There was
open praise for individuals in the Secretariat, particularly the coordinator and policy advisors, and their
role in not only providing quality assistance to members leading on themes but also thinking along
with the person driving the content on how and what to deliver. The Secretariats work with the land
group in particular was singled out for appreciation and seen as providing value for money.
Nevertheless, the Secretariat spends a great deal of time and energy pushing members to move on
things and to keep the process going. This is commendable but not necessarily efficient. If the
Secretariat had a mandate to be more proactive (within boundaries), it could move much quicker, for
example when implementing agreed-on workplans.
There were also points of dissent. The fee for being a Board member was felt to be too high compared
with the return namely, a place at the table and attendance in two face-to-face meetings. A
counterpoint to this argument was that the fee was worth paying because of the benefits of
coordination among donors that the Platform makes possible, which is difficult to value in strict
monetary terms.
3.3.3

How does the Platform compare with other similar international networks?

Comparison between the Platform and other international networks is difficult for a number of
reasons, including differences in mandates, structures and ways of working. In addition, comparable
information is not readily available. Nevertheless, an attempt was made to compare the Platform and
two similar networks: GFRAS and the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) (see Table
3).6 KIT looked at the following dimensions of comparison:
Participants

The Platform has more members and more focused membership. DCED has 22 members
compared with the Platforms 38. GFRAS has a looser definition of membership, with 10
regional networks as well as international organisations such as the Food and Agricultural
Organization (FAO) and the World Bank.
All three networks include donors, but differently. DCED has private foundations; GFRAS has
(some) donors but is mostly steered by regional member networks.

Governance and structure


The Platform, GFRAS and DCED have similar governance structures. All have chairs and co-chairs;
GFRAS and DCED have steering committees whereas the Platform has a Board and FPs.
Programming
All three networks organise their thematic work in smaller groups of some type. The Platform has
nine areas of work; GFRAS and DCED have five areas each.

These were selected for pragmatic reasons: data are readily available for GRFAS and a number of evaluation informants
mentioned DCED as a point of comparison when speaking about the Platform.

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14

Overhead levels
The Platform has higher overhead levels (see discussion in previous section).
Secretariat function and structure

DCEDs Secretariat is independent from any member. GFRAS is based in a Swiss knowledge
institute that is a GFRAS member. The Platform is based in GIZ, which is a member.
GFRAS and DCED have executive secretaries.
The Platform and DCED have similar-sized secretariats (eight and seven staff, respectively, for
2012), including coordination, administration and technical staff (and interns in the case of
the Platform). The Platform has the largest Secretariat, comprising eight staff members,
technical, administrative and interns. DCED is next with 4.5 staff, mainly technical. GFRAS has
the smallest, with three staff, with the coordinator also having a strong technical profile.
For GFRAS, about 20 percent of annual expenditure is on the Secretariat, compared with 39
percent for the Platform in 2012 and 54 percent in 2013. DCED spends 43 percent. In actual
figures, the Platform has the largest expenditure on staff of the three.

The size and expenditure of the Platforms Secretariat are bigger than those of GFRAS and DCED. This
makes sense, given the far greater number of participating organisations as well as the greater number
of working areas. Also, management of members fees in DCED is entrusted to the WBG Trust Fund,
which requires less administration; the Platform requires a larger outlay of staff for this purpose (see
also Section 3.3.1 for a discussion of transaction costs related to membership fees).
Table 4: Comparison of GFRAS, DCED and the Platform
GFRAS

DCED

The Platform

Participants

15 members (estimated),
including regional networks,
multilateral organisations

22 members, mix of bilateral


and multilateral donors and
agencies
and
private
foundations

38
members,
multilateral

Governance
and structure

Chair and co-chair, Steering


Committee

Executive
co-chairs,
Executive Committee

Co-chairs, Board, FPs

Thematic areas
of work

5 working groups: capacitystrengthening;


gender
equality in rural advisory
services; policy for extension
and
advisory
services;
evaluation; and information
and
communication
technology (ICT) in rural
advisory services

5 working groups: results


measurement;
business
environment reform; private
sector development (PSD) in
conflict-affected
environments; green growth;
and
womens
entrepreneurship
development

9
work
themes:
aid
and
development effectiveness and
results in ARD, including the
Comprehensive Africa Agriculture
Development Programme (CAADP);
climate change and resilience in
agriculture; private sector and
development in ARD; nutrition, food
security
and
agricultural
development; land and water
management;
livestock
and
pastoralism; gender equity and
youth; AR4D; and post-harvest
losses

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

bilateral

and

15

GFRAS

DCED

The Platform

Secretariat
structure

Executive
secretary,
appointed
by
Steering
Committee,
hosted
by
Agridea in Switzerland

Executive
Secretariat,
independent
from
any
member,
based
in
Cambridge

Secretariat hosted by GIZ

Secretariat staff
and finance

3 staff in Secretariat, in
coordination
and
administration; 290,000 on
staff time*, 20% of annual
expenditure***

4.5
staff,
essentially
technical;
approximately
270,000 in staff costs, 43%
of total expenditure in
year**

8 staff in Secretariat (2 technical,


interns, junior professional officer(s)
and 1 communications officer); staff
costs in 2012 481,379, 39% of
annual expenditure***; in 2013
523,116,
54%
of
annual
expenditure****

Hosting
organisations
overhead costs

8% of annual expenditure***

Not applicable

13% of annual expenditure.


Separately accounted for: general
administration and management,
office rent and communication
infrastructure.

Funding

Support from 6 sources


(private,
bilateral
and
multilateral agencies and
research institutes)

Almost all members pay


membership fee into WBG
Trust Fund according to
Charter

14 donor members in 2012, 9 in


2013

Note: * Estimate based on US$360,000. Source: 2012 Annual Report. ** Information provided by Jim Tanburn,
Executive Secretary, DCED, 28 January 2015. *** Source: 2012 Annual Report. **** Source: 2013 External Audit
Report.

3.4

Effectiveness

Investigating how effective the Platform is with regard to achieving its objective, and the quality and
usefulness of its services and products, entails taking a closer look at how the work themes function
and what they deliver. In addition and drawing on information from the work themes answers
were sought on the following questions:

3.4.1

What are the overall accomplishments in the Platforms approach to knowledge exchange?
Does the Platform provide focused collaboration between partner organisations, leading to
concerted and consistent advocacy in ARD?
How do leadership and governance structures ensure quality and usefulness?
Work themes

This section describes and assesses work done by the Platform under its work themes. In addition, we
analyse two of the work themes in more depth, in case studies on land governance and AR4D.
Overview
The overview of work themes (Table 4) was collated from information available on the website as it is
at present, in the 2012 and 2013 Annual Reports and in other reports and minutes of meetings.
Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

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The overview makes a distinction between a work theme and a work stream (column 2) because on
the website not all work themes have a work stream tab. We take this to signify that the work stream
represents an organised group of members who meet virtually from time to time to share knowledge,
discuss how the theme can be taken forward and plan events or meet at events. Only two work
themes, those on aid effectiveness and nutrition, have work stream tabs on the website.
We include the Global Donor Working Group on Land and the Inter-Agency Donor Group (IADG) in the
work stream column in Table 4 under the respective work theme because these represent organised
groups. However, both have special characteristics that set them apart from the other two which are
aid effectiveness and nutrition. The Donor Working Group was formed at the World Bank Annual
Conference in 2013 and is facilitated by the Platform. IADG has partnered with the Platform since 2013
for some of the same reasons as the Global Donor Working Group on Land.
All work themes have a Common Ground statement.
Activities, focus and networks are categorised under one heading (column 3), although in reality each
work theme is organised differently. On the website, some work themes have tabs on activities, others
on focus areas and still others on networks or a combination of these. We interpret networking and
focus areas as part of the work/activity by that theme group.
Publications come under products (column 4). Publications featured are not just those of the Platform
but represent significant ones for the theme, contributed by specific members. For example, for the
post-harvest losses theme, there is a research library tab on the website containing research
publications on the subject and collated by GIZ and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation
(SDC).
The last two columns in Table 4 show what is featured on the website for a particular theme in terms
of latest and upcoming events. This information is updated by the Secretariat at the suggestion of
members and reflects what is happening (or not) on each theme in wider development circles; the
interests and involvement of members; and the extent of intelligence available to the Platform;
The content of the web calendar entries is a well-crafted mixture of upcoming events that are actively
brought to the attention of the Secretariat through the FPs, or their delegates, and sometimes by other
organisations that are promoting their events with the Secretariat. The Secretariat also spends considerable
amounts of time on actively researching. 7

For example, for the research theme, the last posting, in November 2013, announced the European
Forum for Farm and Rural Advisory Services (EUFRAS) and a side event on rural advisory services
organised by the Platform at the GFRAS Annual Meeting, and the intention to use the Platform
Secretariat as a coordinating tool. Nothing further is mentioned for 2014.
In the first round of comments provided on the proposal, the Evaluation Reference Group (ERG)
requested we limit our visits to the main centres where most of the members could be contacted
namely, Washington, DC, Ottawa and Rome (and the Secretariat in Bonn). Our original proposal had
suggested we follow the Platforms activities and include CAADP as part of the review.

E-mail communication from Monika Middel, Platform Coordinator, 28 November 2014.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

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Table 5: Analysis of work themes


Work theme

Aid effectiveness

Work stream

Last meeting minutes


on record is post-2015
conference call on 12
March 2013

Activity/focus/network

Post-2015 agenda
Evaluation rural development
CAADP
High-level fora

Products

Commissioned
study,
Prospects for Agriculture and
Rural
Development
Assistance in the Post-2015
Development Framework

News
Latest

Upcoming

Latest postings
September
2014

DAC High-Level Meeting

Latest postings
July 2014

2013 highlights

Climate change

No record of meetings

Revised Joint Donor Concept on Common


Ground
Co-hosted regional learning event on
Scaling Up ARD in Africa, in Addis Ababa
High-Level Consultation, Madrid
CAADP: participated in DPTT meetings,
retreat in Brussels, CTA Briefing
CCAFS commission
Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance
Global Alliance for Climate-Smart
Agriculture

2013 highlights

Publications featured:

High-level fora
CAADP
Post-2015
Rural development

No record on website

Chatham House Food Security,


December 2014
Pre-AGA
Consultation
on
AU/NEPAD Gender, Climate
Change
And
Agriculture
Support
Programme,
2
December 2014

Hosted joint (FAO/GIZ/World Bank)


technical networking
Session on integrated watershed
management, Global Landscape Forum,
on side-lines of UNFCCC COP19, Warsaw,
November 2013

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18

Work theme

Work stream

Activity/focus/network

Gender and youth

No
work
recorded

stream

Products

News
Latest

Upcoming

Latest postings

Hosted side-event at AGA on Adaptation


for Smallholder Agriculture Programme

Not indicated

Gender and Agriculture,


Policy Brief 3, 2010

Land governance

Global
Donor
Working Group on
Land formed in
2013, facilitated by
Secretariat
4th
Physical
Meeting, October
2014
Meets regularly in
conference calls
since
2013,
minutes on record

2013 highlights
G-8 in 2013 launched Land Transparency
Initiative with pilot partnerships in 7
developing countries to implement Voluntary
Guidelines on Responsible Governance of
Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forest in the
context of National Food Security (VGGT)

2014 highlights

Inter-agency donor
group on pro-poor
livestock research and
development
at

Latest posting
October 2014

- Global Landscapes Forum,


December 2014
Annual World Bank Conference
on Land and Poverty 2015
March: Linking Land Tenure
and Use for Shared Prosperity

Side event 15 October 2014 at CFS,


Improving Donor Coordination to Amplify
Impact of Land Governance, presented
updated Land Governance Programme
Map and groups Road Map 2014-2017
Joint action where suitable with other
land-related networks and platforms, e.g.
CFS, ILC, AU LPI, GLTN, G-8/G-20

Livestock

Map of land governance


programme; database has
554 projects in 125
countries, US$4.6 billion
Road Map 2014-2017
Policy Brief 9: Land in a
Post-2015 Framework
Policy Brief 10: Land
Target and Indicators for
the
Sustainable
Development Goals

Pre-AGA
consultation,
December 2014
AGA 2014

2014 highlights
Most recent IADG Annual Meeting on
livestock research for development, Seattle

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Livestock
programme
map; database contains
491
projects
implemented
in
93
countries to date

Latest posting
September
2014

80th International Green Week,


Berlin Mar 2015

19

Work theme

Nutrition
agricultural
development

and

Work stream

Activity/focus/network

Products

business meeting May


2013 expressed wish
to
partner
with
Platform for dynamic
and sustained support
to activities between
meetings.
IADG
meetings
regularly
held. Last minutes on
record is conference
call September 2014

2014, hosted by Bill & Melinda Gates


Foundation

Publications
featured
range from research to
policy- and strategyoriented papers; most
recent 2014

Nutrition work stream


meets regularly online
or
via
telephone
conference call to
share knowledge and
inform each other
about nutrition policy
developments.
Last
conference call 27 May
2014,
minutes
available

2013 highlights

Proposed: development
of database as tool to map
all main activities of
donors work currently
undertaken in aflatoxin
control
-Several strategy and
position
papers
and
guides featured, last from
2013

Other Platform collaborations

News
Latest

Upcoming

Latest posting
October 2014

Global Agenda of Action in support of


sustainable livestock sector development
Belgian Platform on Tropical Animal
Health and Production
CoP-PPLD

Briefed by DFAT-D Canada on SUN donor


network approach to resource tracking
Held member meeting at CGIAR Science
Week 2013
Co-organised side event Transforming
Food Systems: Empowering Women to
Deliver on Food and Nutrition Security at
the CFS40, 2013
Expert Meeting on Nutrition and Food
Security, Berlin, September 2014
Side event, CFS October 2014, on aflatoxin
control. Platform committed to promoting
collaborative action to improve efficiency
of programmes by working with other
aflatoxin control stakeholders such as
PACA and PAEPARD

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Gender in Food and Nutrition


Security, online, NovemberDecember 2014
Celebrating FARA, November
2014

20

Work theme

Work stream

Activity/focus/network

Products

News
Latest

Upcoming

Post-harvest losses

No
work
recorded

stream

Not indicated

Research library tab contains


research publications on
subject of post-harvest losses
collated by GIZ and SDC

Latest posting
October 2014

No events

Private sector

No
work
recorded

stream

Supported World Banks analytical toolkit for


contract farming 2013

Latest posting
October 2014

No events

Research

No
work
indicated

stream

2013 highlights

Latest posting
November 2013

GFRAS Annual Meeting 2013


European Forum for Farm and Rural
Advisory Services launched
Platform side event on donor approaches
organised
Importance of rural advisory services
highlighted.
Platform Secretariat identified as
coordinating tool for RAS

No record
Platform Knowledge Piece
2012 The Strategic Role
of the Private Sector in
ARD

AGA, December 2013


Celebrating FARA, November
2014

2012 highlights
Platform members initiated preparations for
2012 GCARD in parallel with the 2011 G-20
meeting in France, which enabled donor
coordination around AR4D (not reported on
website)

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Main conclusions on work themes


If performance of work themes is judged by volume of work in any year, three themes seem to have
performed well in 2013-2014: land governance, livestock and nutrition. Aid effectiveness and research
showed a great deal of activity in 2012-2013. The private sector theme was also active in 2013,
organising a side event at the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) in Warsaw. Thus, most work
themes have registered activity in the past three years, the exceptions being gender and youth and
post-harvest losses.
The Platform is perceived as an efficient and effective organiser of work themes. For example, the
Global Donor Working Group on Land and IADG chose the Platform to house their group in part
because it can provide the services, communication and coordination they 5need. Both are satisfied
with the services provided. Hosting already existing working groups is beneficial for both the Platform
(which builds on their visibility and avoids duplication) and the working groups, which, besides making
use of the Platforms services, obtain a closer link to donors and their policy formulation process.
The case study of the Global Donor Working Group on Land below shows it is the initiative of Platform
members that amplifies the profile of the Platform and increases its influence. It illustrates also the
logic of membership-based networks, which is that members act on the areas of their interest with
other like-minded members with the aim of pushing the profile of their theme on the policy agenda.
In the absence of such initiatives, the Platform and work themes remain inert.
The relevance of the themes lies in providing members a convening space to work on a topic of
concern. The volume of work in any one theme is directly related to whether members pro-actively
introduce and work on the topic. However, the work on themes is not continuous; some themes have
actively held meetings in the past two years, virtual and face-to-face but most have not.
The flexibility of the Platform work themes is generally seen as an added value. Issues come and go
and merge, and the approach allows for this. Some see this ebb and flow illustrated by the AR4D
case study as an indication of a lack of sustainability. Rather, it seems to be indicative of the fact that
members, and decisions made during the annual work planning process, are driving the work.
The relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of a particular work theme cannot be judged solely based
on the volume of work and activity; its technical relevance; or whether it meets the emergent policy
needs of an individual donor member. It has to be judged from the perspective of whether or not it
brings members together to act on a topic in a coordinated fashion and to profile the issue in wider
decision-making debates. Work theme activity peaks in preparation for an international event, when
donor coordination is most necessary. For example:

AR4D: Members mobilised donor coordination in preparation for GCARD2 in Uruguay.


Climate change: A joint (FAO/GIZ/World Bank) technical networking session on integrated
watershed management was hosted at the Global Landscape Forum on the side-lines of
COP19 in Warsaw in November 2013.
Land governance: Members mobilised around the G-8 in 2013 under the UK presidency, which
launched a Land Transparency Initiative with country pilot partnerships in seven developing
countries to implement the VGGT. They also organised a side event on 15 October 2014 at the

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

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Committee on Food Security (CFS) on Improving Donor Coordination to Amplify the Impact of
Land Governance.
Nutrition: A side event on Transforming Food Systems: Empowering Women to Deliver on
Food and Nutrition Security was organised at the CFS in 2013. Under the Italian presidency,
members organised a side event at the CFS in October 2014 on Aflatoxin Control.

Case study: land governance


Members of the existing European Union (EU) Working Group on Land (ADA, AFD, BMELV, BMZ, DFID,
EC, GIZ, MFA-Austria, MFA-Denmark, MFA-Finland, MFA-France, MFA-Netherlands, SDC, Sida) plus
FAO, JICA, IFAD, MCC, USAID, CIDA, UN-Habitat and the World Bank agreed at the Donor Roundtable
Meeting in Washington, DC, on 12 April 2013 to establish the Global Donor Working Group on Land.
IFC joined the group afterwards.
Background
In 2013, the Platform established its work theme on land governance to address increased global
interest in land and responsible governance of land and other natural resources for sustainable
development. In April of that year, the Global Donor Working Group on Land was formed and chose
to locate itself in the Platform with facilitation from the Secretariat. This was agreed during a parallel
event to the World Banks annual land conference held in Washington, DC on 12 April 2013. The group
advocates strongly for the effective implementation of the VGGT and the role of land in a post-2015
agenda. It does so by undertaking coordinated actions to support the proposed target and indicators
on land and property rights of women and men developed by the Global Land Indicator Initiative
(GLTN).
Effects of knowledge-sharing, networking and donor coordination
Since its establishment, the group has, where suitable, actively pursued the strategy of knowledgesharing, coordination and joint action. The key objectives of the first-year workplan were as follows:

Improving exchange of information and lessons learnt among donors and donor networks on
land (main focus: tenure, governance, rural and urban);
Improving donor coordination on land governance at the international level (building on local,
national and regional coordination), for example, where suitable, building consensus around
critical or emerging issues and international processes and promoting a value-added and
synergetic approach between national, regional and international coordination;
Agreeing on joint action where suitable, on a case-by-case basis, for example in the context of
interaction with other land-related networks and platforms (e.g. CFS, ILC, AU LPI, GLTN,
G-8/G-20 and other stakeholders).

Activities in 2013 included six phone conferences to coordinate with members; one physical meeting
at the CFS; interviews with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the UN Human
Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on
policy processes; production of a policy brief on land in a post-2015 framework; and the launch of the

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Global Land Project Database on the Platform website (the Platform also hosts the database). The
group played a particularly important role in preparations for the G-8 Summit held in June 2013.
Under the UK presidency, the G-8 Summit in 2013 committed to improving land governance.
Commitments included supporting greater transparency in land transactions, including at early stages;
responsible governance of the tenure of land; and increased capacity in developing countries and
establishing partnerships and national development plans with at least seven developing countries
and relevant international organisations to accelerate and target support to countries existing land
governance programmes in conjunction with businesses, farmers and civil society. The establishment
of the Global Donor Working Group on Land is mentioned specifically in the UK G-8 Presidency Report
as progress made in realising its commitments.
Preparations for the Summit catapulted the land transparency issue onto the ODA agenda. DFID, an
important member and chair of the group, played a leading role here. This process best illustrates the
value of the coordinating role of the Platform and what can be achieved by linking knowledge-sharing
and networking to agreements and joint action by donor countries, such as G-8 members.
In 2014, the group organised a side event, Improving Donor Coordination to Amplify Impact of Land
Governance, at the CFS. At this, the Land Governance Programme Map was presented. Also in 2014,
USAID, on behalf of the group, led a data collection and visualisation project that gathered information
from around the globe. Currently, the resulting database retains 557 projects in 126 countries with a
total value of US$4.6 billion. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands,
Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, the US, the EU, FAO and the World Bank have already submitted project
details. Canadas Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFAT-D) and the Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have recently joined this initiative and are in the process of
entering information. It is clear the Land Governance Programme Map is having and will have a
positive impact on donor coordination on land issues.
The groups three-year road map enumerates activities to respond to five priorities: land-related
information exchange, coordination and cooperation in priority areas; support to a country
partnership model; support to the private sector to contribute to improved land governance; support
to donor governments to improve land governance through coherent approaches; and, as a
crosscutting priority, global coordination and impact delivery for better land governance using a single
open accessible hub. This road map presents a comprehensive and coherent strategy in which
networking and knowledge-sharing activities are connected to policy advocacy. Additionally, donor
coordination in all activities features strongly in the road map.
The group has been coordinating on approaches to be taken in major land-related events, such as the
meeting in November to discuss the upcoming World Bank conference on land in March 2015.
Platforms spheres of influence
The activities and effectiveness of the Global Donor Working Group on Land, in a space of two years,
illustrate well our main finding that Platform members amplify the profile of the Platform and increase
its influence and not the other way around. In this case, it is difficult to separate what the Platform is
from the profile and influence of the land group itself. The perception that the Platform itself is not

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

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widely known whereas the work of the Global Donor Working Group on Land is may be true to some
extent. However, this should not be construed as a disadvantage. As we have seen, the Platform, as a
membership-based organisation, is dependent on members acting on the areas of their interest with
other like-minded members. This is the logic of membership-based organisations and the raison dtre
of a platform: it provides the basis for members to come together as needed; it is the coming-together,
not the basis for this (i.e. the Platform), that has influence.
In this specific case, the spheres of influence of the Global Donor Working Group on Land are
extensive. It has played a role in the G-8 Summit, raised the profile of land governance issues,
coordinated donor approaches and mapped their initiatives. Although each donor country may have
its own approach to the VGGT, the mapping and database development has made their investments
and initiatives transparent. Funds for implementation of the VGGT (through support to FAO) were
leveraged as a result of the G-8 Summit, as well as funds for land governance partnerships in some
African countries. Spheres of influence extend well beyond the group to the private sector and
international non-governmental organisations, as was evident at the CFS side event in 2014.
Added value of working through the Platform
The Global Donor Working Group on Land chose to house its initiative in the Platform because the
latter provides the forum and services needed for member interaction, activities and decision-making.
Members of the group highly appreciate the Secretariats role in the provision of knowledge services
and in facilitating coordination and communication. One member noted that it was performing the
essential role [] If that were not the case we would surely not have come this far and the momentum
would have more or less evaporated.
Another added value of the Platform lies in its having an autonomous Secretariat. Given their different
viewpoints, members appreciated the independence of the body, which helped avoid conflict and
prevent more heavyweight members taking over the agenda.
Case study: AR4D
History and outputs
This work started in 2011 in a small group led by Canada (then co-chair of the Platform) and composed
mainly of representatives of the World Back, the EC, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IFAD and
AFD. Later, it also directly involved USAID, BMZ and Italy.
The initiative responded to the need and interest to better prepare and respond to key international
events, in particular the G-20 conference on ARD that took place in September 2011 in France and
GCARD2 in Uruguay in October-November 2012.
As of early 2012, it became clearer that GFAR and GFRAS were natural partners in this work, and
representatives of both bodies started attending the teleconferences/meetings and co-organising key
events. Also at that time, a more formal link with GFAR was forged, with the Platform nominating a
donor representative for GFARs Steering Committee meeting. The group worked side-by-side with

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

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the Donor Group of GFAR, and, importantly, the European Initiative for Agricultural Research for
Development (EIARD)8 throughout its existence.
The main direct outputs were a number of publications: Platform Policy Brief 7 (Promoting Scientific
Partnerships for Food Security: The G-20 Conference on ARD) and a Synthesis Paper and Policy Brief
on Donor Methods to Prioritise Investments in ARD.
There are two virtual briefings on the Platforms website, one on Improving Reporting on AR4D
(2013) and one on Research for Improved Nutrition (2012). The first fits well with the overall
discussion at that point in time on how to better track and document investments on AR4D, which
as a spin-off provided further support/relevance to the work of the International Food Policy
Research Institute under the Agricultural Science and Technology Program (ASTI). DFAT-D and BMZ,
both heavily involved in the Platform, were major donors of ASTI between 2012 and 2014.9
The group also organised in January 2012, in connection with the Platform Annual Meeting and,
together with EIARD, OECD and GFAR, a Stakeholder Workshop on Tracking Investments in
Agricultural Research for Development. The recommendations of this workshop were incorporated
into the work of the G-8 LAquila Food Security Initiative Managing for Results Group (GFAR, 2013).
They were also fed into discussion at GCARD2 on public investment in agriculture.
In 2013, the main activity reported was a side event at the GFRAS Annual Meeting in Berlin that
focused on donor strategies to strengthen rural advisory services. The meeting, on Scaling Up ARD in
Africa, held in Addis Ababa and organised in partnership with IFAD and the World Bank, and in
principle part and parcel of the AR4D line of work, is tellingly reported in the Platforms 2013
Annual Report under the aid effectiveness work theme.
There are no more minutes available on meetings after mid-2013, reflecting an important decline in
the level of activities of the group. Interviews seem to indicate that this was an organic decline:
having played an important role in preparing donors for key events (such as GCARD), the group ceased
to have a common aim that brought members together and added value to the already existing and
formalised Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and GFAR donor groups
and EIARD.
Added value
Both GCARD2 in 2012 and the 2011 G-20 meeting in France, which provided those working in the
group with an initial common purpose, called for more exchange between donors on their views on
AR4D. GCARD in particular put emphasis on research for development that is, embedded in
development efforts rather than as a stand-alone, separate effort. Content-wise, it can be said that
the work incorporated important upcoming principles into its work. A 2012 Platform paper on Donor
Methods to Prioritise Investments in ARD, for example, makes important reference to the need to
ensure that priority setting methods help lead to tangible results in farmers fields, which is a step
beyond conventional thinking on AR4D. The need for a different way of doing AR4D was also reflected
8

EIARD is a permanent informal European donor coordination platform between the European Commission, Member
States of the European Union, Switzerland and Norway. It aims to harmonize policies on and investments in agricultural
research for development (http://www.ard-europe.org/index.php?id=372)
9 http://www.asti.cgiar.org/donors

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

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in the (then-ongoing) CGIAR reform. Many of the donors coming together under the work stream were
and are important donors for the CGIAR, channelling important percentages of their funding for
AR4D to the CGIAR system.
Likewise, the 2013 revised Platform document On Common Ground: Donor Perspectives on
Agricultural & Rural Development and Food Security & Nutrition calls for responding to different
farming systems needs; considering farmers perspectives as a starting point; taking a diversity of
actors in the innovation systems into account; and, finally, supporting dissemination and adaptation
of innovation understood as technical, organisational or institutional. Also here, the kind of language
used goes beyond conventional AR4D thinking. This shows key donors have taken the lead in
considering new views on agricultural development. It does not, of course, mean such donors have
succeeded in getting all donors to incorporate new language and concepts into their work or to
translate these new views into new practices. The work stream, as such, cannot be held accountable
to a change in practice at donor level.
The added value of bringing donors together in this work stream was less that of coordination and
changing policies and actions directly and more that of informal exchange and peer support in
preparation for key events. It was a space for open and frank discussions on how decisions are made
and what can be learnt from internal, rarely shared, donor prioritisation and decision-making
processes.
This role was highly appreciated by those participating in the work stream, but sometimes criticised
by partner organisations (e.g. GFAR), which expected to see donors putting new ideas and lessons
learnt as a result of the discussions supported by the work stream into effective practice.
3.4.2

Overall accomplishments of the Platform

The Platforms Annual Progress Reports and Annual Reports do not bring a clear analysis of what share
of the workplan has been implemented, what has not and why. This information is not easy to share
externally, but there is a need for a simple table comparing what was planned and what was done
effectively. When/if available, this should also be used internally for monitoring and learning.
We took a broader view on effectiveness, asking what respondents saw as the major
accomplishment of the Platform. The dilemmas of pinpointing the exact nature of the
accomplishments or being able to attribute these to the Platform were also discussed.
The Platforms role was seen as facilitating linkages, networking and coordination between members
as a significant accomplishment. An important characteristic of the Platforms approach to knowledgesharing lies in addressing themes in a manner that gives them visibility. The Platform is good at playing
a convening role to take a theme or subject further through broad awareness creation. One example
given was of the Platform introducing territorial development as an innovative approach before it was
discussed among international organisations: it fielded the topic and got donors together to discuss
how it could increase the effectiveness of international cooperation in rural development. Another
major accomplishment mentioned was the Platforms work on AR4D keeping the issue alive in the
past and highlighting its importance in the future.

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Most interviewees cited the experience of the land group as epitomising what the Platform could
accomplish: helping donors coordinate, share and work together to create visibility for a subject.
People decided they needed to work together and the Platform stepped in and performed certain
functions to help the group operate. The issue has gained international visibility and brought together
both multilateral and bilateral agencies, and important products have been generated.
Several interviewees pointed to the effective convening role of the AGA as a major accomplishment
of the Platform. The AGA brings people together face-to-face, and always has a thematic focus on an
emerging subject to create awareness. Discussions provide the opportunity for learning. The AGA is
characterised as an open space for thinking outside the box. Some informants suggested the AGA
could be improved by allowing more time than is currently scheduled particularly for content-related
discussions, for interaction and for a more formal system of knowing who is who, given that not all
member participants know each other and there are also non-member participants.
The Platforms approach to knowledge exchange is seen as both a strength and a limitation. Citing its
work on the post-2015 agenda as an excellent forward-looking initiative allowing for good discussion
among members, interviewees nevertheless said it was a limited exercise since it did not necessarily
translate into the Platform issuing a statement that all could agree to.
Some pointed to the difficulty of pinpointing exactly what it is the Platform accomplishes, and
consequent difficulties justifying participation to their headquarters. Networking, knowledge
exchange and coordination cannot be quantified or clearly attributed; nor can their results. This is
particularly problematic when donors want to see clear links between funded activities and results.
3.4.3

Focused collaboration

While most interviewees agreed the Platform provided opportunities for focused collaboration, they
seemed divided on the issue of whether or not it did or should lead to joint advocacy for a particular
subject. This lack of agreement was also reflected in the 2013 Membership Survey.
Focused collaboration occurs in the work streams when products are developed on the basis of a
common agenda, such as when members of the livestock group prepared for a meeting held in Seattle
or when nutrition stakeholders prepared the agenda and presentations for a Berlin conference on this
theme in September 2014. According to interviewees, these instances can be seen as joint
collaboration that may or may not develop into joint advocacy.
Several factors come together in allowing focused collaboration to develop into an advocacy agenda.
Giving the example of the land group, interviewees said focused collaboration resulted from high
levels of engagement of different donors, but it was preparations for the G-8 Summit that catapulted
the land transparency issue onto the advocacy agenda. The case for AR4D was similar: Platform
members initiated preparations for GCARD2 in 2012 in parallel with the G-20 meeting in France, which
both enabled and pushed for better donor coordination around AR4D.
Some interviewees felt the Platform needed to focus more, such as by narrowing down to three or
four themes likely to be important in global discussions in the coming year or two. It may also be
important to focus on larger themes of global recognised importance, instead of having several
specialised sub-themes, since this was the reason for setting up the Platform. A commonly cited
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example was the Platforms work on aflatoxin, which was seen as far too technical and detailed. Some
felt this lack of focus was preventing the Platform from getting due recognition. Several people felt
the Platform was just not positioned well enough vis--vis the big strategic questions and had missed
opportunities to be visible in important global forums, because it spread itself too thinly.
Focus is indeed important, but cannot come at the cost of (diminished) commitment by members who
do not happen to be interested in any of the prioritised themes In practice, not all work themes are
operational and active in the same year: work often follows international events on particular topics,
and it is here where Platform members can have an impact. Following on from this it is advisable that
the Platform pinpoints a limited number of work themes (e.g. 4) which are likely to be prominent for
ARD in the upcoming year and on which global conferences and consultations are to be organised.
This should become a feature of the annual work planning exercise and the AGA. This would ensure
active involvement of members concerned with that topic and provide focus for the Secretariat and
the Platform as a whole.
Advocacy is apparently a more difficult issue for most members, as evident from data collected during
the evaluation as well as the 2013 Membership Survey.
As a key area of Platform work, advocacy has two sides. Internal advocacy means supporting FPs
in influencing their national development policies. This was mentioned as an important role of the
Platform for small donor countries in particular; these refer to documents produced by the Platform
and consult with their peers when they need to substantiate their views on ARD.
The second area is external advocacy, or efforts to influence processes taking place beyond the
national policy arena. Some felt a clear need for joint advocacy in key moments when strategies such
as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being developed. If 30 donors came together and
reached agreement on an important issue, they would have more leverage in these discussions.
However, others were opposed to this external advocacy role. Some claimed it was not for the
Platform to undertake policy advocacy, as policy is made by the donor organisations themselves.
Others saw the external role as very challenging, for several reasons. The Platform comprises members
of both bilateral and multilateral donors. The bilaterals are donors to the multilaterals, so are in a
position of power in one-to-one relationships, yet the two have equal status in the Platform. Particular
FPs expressed a similar potential conflict: wearing two hats (that of their organisation and that of
Platform participants), they may be setting themselves up to contradict their organisations stand on
issues. Advocacy on controversial issues was seen as high-risk and off-limits.
In addition, some said that, to play a more effective (external and internal) advocacy role, the Platform
would need to bring together more senior policy-makers. Current FPs, though often senior policy
advisors, do not have a mandate to set the course of national development policies, or, in many cases,
to take decisions with implications for national policy.
A more realistic aspiration relates to developing position papers, for example the Common Ground
papers the Platform develops, which, although generic, represent consensus. All members can
support (or at least live with) these points. While perhaps not as far-reaching as some would wish,

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

29

these represent a stand, which some members find helpful when lobbying their own organisation. This
is probably as far as the Platform can go in terms of finding common ground on policy issues.
3.4.4

How do leadership and governance structures ensure quality?

Role of the Secretariat


One important dilemma the Platform faces is whether to push for implementation of the workplans
or to act more organically on upcoming opportunities and leave behind plans when they turn out not
to be realistic or relevant.
We noted earlier that a number of activities in the annual workplans are not implemented. It was also
said that the high workload of FPs (for whom the Platform comes on top of already filled agendas)
often hinders their commitment to plans made.
Members positions on this differ considerably: at least one person felt the Secretariat was expanding
its role and taking over the mandate of its members; another observation was that there had been
occasions when people had felt let down by the Secretariat, in that new issues they raised could not
be accommodated in its work, which seems restricted to activities outlined in workplans.
The present Secretariat is acutely aware of the fine balance it has to maintain between getting things
done and maintaining a low profile and not taking over decision-making. The Platform should also
(continue to) strike a balance between following plans made and reacting to new issues. This is only
possible if it can count on real commitment from the chairs and the Board and if its mandate is revised
to be more pro-active, so it can suggest what needs to be done to respond to emerging issues. Since
there is consistently less money spent than is budgeted for, more pro-activeness would enable
strategic use of resources for urgent and emerging issues not agreed in the workplan.
Opinion was divided on how to strengthen the role of the Secretariat. Some felt it should be a
professional secretariat, probably meaning one with people with deep technical knowledge of the
sector. Frequent reference to DCED seemed to suggest some were expecting a technical secretariat
that would run the work agenda. Others suggested the Secretariat have more power to decide. In a
sense, informants were repeating some of the divisions and strains that already exist as to the identity
of the Platform.
Strengthening the Secretariats role would allow the Platform to build on its strengths, remain relevant
and let members focus on content and substantive issues when they meet as a network (i.e. for
monthly meetings and the AGA).
Mechanisms to ensure quality and usefulness
What was clear from the interviews but also from observation of the systems in place was that
mechanisms exist to ensure quality and usefulness. A great deal of effort is put into maintaining
transparency. All reports, meeting minutes, budgets and presentations on the use of budgets are
online. As mentioned earlier, a number of systems have been put in place to increase member
participation, feedback and flexibility. Management meetings also play a supervisory function, so
there is a check on the usefulness and quality of services and products.

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Monitoring and follow-up of virtual activities are very impressive in the sense that they provide
specific details on website visits, access to videos, etc., accompanied by critical analysis and thoughts
on ways to improve. Reports are regular,10 brief and clear (sent by e-mail) and always accompanied
by a table showing specific results (visits, clicks, downloads, etc.).
3.4.5

How effective is the Platforms website and virtual communication tools?

Since so much of the work of the Platform is virtual and involves getting the information out there
onto the web, the monthly monitoring reports make for interesting reading.
Main points from monitoring report

Website visits: From 2012 to October 2014, the overall number of visits was low and
decreased every month. An exception was June 2014, when numbers rose, but they dropped
again in July. In the second quarter of 2014, overall site visitation numbers dropped
substantially.
The Platform calendar of events is constantly updated, but the number of visits is also low
and is decreasing over time.
YouTube views: YouTube views increase every year around the time the AGA is held. However,
the numbers are not very high, and the suggestion is to have more focused materials. Overall
efficiency seems to suffer from our wide thematic focus.
Twitter: Since it was introduced in September 2012, the Platform has gained many followers,
and numbers remain stable. The Secretariat has the most tweeted and re-tweeted posts, but
there is no real pattern in terms of themes or types of posts.
There is no pattern or tendency regarding themes in the most watched or clicked tweets,
videos or documents. They may vary because of the wide variety of materials and topics
available. Perhaps the only recurrent theme in the different virtual briefings, reports and other
materials viewed or tweeted was that on land.

Virtual briefings
Virtual briefings aim at facilitating mutual knowledge exchange among Platform members, focusing
on the latest developments in ARD and FS. They also enable interactive discussions with members of
the wider ARD and FS community.11

Presentations overall are interesting content-wise, discussing contemporary themes.


Virtual briefings take the form of webinars, with one or two people presenting and ample time
for discussions. The time of the recordings range between 28 and 45 minutes, which is very
long for people who access the recording later.
There are 27 virtual briefings on-line, five of them from 2014, six from 2013, 11 from 2012 and
five from 2011. Their format has not changed over time.
Aid effectiveness sub-pages have eight briefings, nutritions seven, post-harvest losses four,
the private sectors one, livestocks two and AR4Ds two.

10

An overview of 2012 and 2013 activity is available, and monthly results and analysis are given for January to June 2014.
From July 2014 onwards, reports are for three months. Reports were made available for monthly management meetings.
11 http://www.donorplatform.org

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

31

It is not possible to see how many people are attending.


Usually, several people ask questions at the end. The quality of the recording is not always
very good; sometimes it is difficult to hear those asking questions.
Whenever people refer to other documents, these are also made available on the website.
Participation seems to be open: the website says, Participants need a webcam and
headset. If you wish to participate or present a suitable topic, please contact us. At the same
time, both virtual briefings and interviews are documented also in the e-briefs but are not
announced there. They are also not announced in the calendar section of the website, so it is
difficult to tell how people are made aware of upcoming briefings.

Interviews with technical experts


Interviews comprise to-the-point information on latest developments in ARD and food security
geared towards the informational needs of Platform members, supporting their mutual knowledge
exchange.12

The interviews are in general too long, making them difficult to follow after the initial few
minutes.
Low quality of video and sound does not help.
Most interviews are transcribed, which is commendable.
It is easier to navigate an interview when you can skip to other parts of the interviews,
according to what questions are being asked. A good example can be found in
http://www.donorplatform.org/nutrition-and-agricultural-development/interviews/1234interview-with-marie-ruel
Questions are well thought-through; content in general is acceptable.

A positive point about both virtual briefings and interviews is that there is an attempt to interview
people from different organisations beyond the donor community. These include Oxfam, GFRAS,
GFAR, CGIAR institutes, universities, etc.
Website comparison
The evaluation did not allow for a comprehensive exploration of the reasons for decreased web visits.
We did, however, undertake an analysis of websites, comparing that of the Platform and those of
GFRAS, DCED and FAO (see Table 5), which provides a number of hints as to why this decrease is taking
place.
Overall, the Platform website provides a great deal of information but not in the most attractive, easily
accessible and inviting manner, despite the use of multimedia and innovative formats. First
impressions are important: the Platform homepage is confusing and lacks focus. For example, the
navigation bar is unclear and crowded and uses unconventional titles that are not self-explanatory or
comparable. There are two sliders with seven and eight rotating windows, respectively. The main page
has five featured main items and seven sub-items, the calendar and the Twitter feed.

12

Ibid.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

32

The Platform website has an unclear unique selling point (USP) and pull. Although it makes innovative
use of video and social media and offers good access to internal information, it has poor visual content
(e.g. minimal use of visuals, except for video and publications, and no animation or graphics),
inconsistent content quality, poor support and limited opportunity for interaction, relying mainly on
one-way communication.
At times, the amount of information provided in the manner it is can be overwhelming. This can be
addressed partially through improved navigation. Currently, the navigation is neither intuitive nor
efficient. There is neither a site map nor an obvious way to return to the homepage. A search test
revealed unlinked hits, i.e. not linked to documents; or dead-links to other sites when documents
were found.

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Table 6: Comparison of the websites of GFRAS, DCED, FAO and the Platform

First impressions
Look and feel

Platform

GFRAS

DCED

FAO

Confusing and lacks focus

Lacks focus

Busy but clean and focuses attention

Busy but clean

Tells you what Platform is by


spelling out acronym
Has unclear navigation bar:
crowded, neither conventional
titles nor self explanatory, notcomparable, lacks sub-titles
Includes 2 sliders (one with 7 and
another with 8, all members)
5 featured main items (7 sub
items), calendar and Twitter feed

Tells you what GFRAS is by spelling


out acronym
Has clear navigation bar:
conventional and self explanatory
titles and sub-titles appear
Includes 5 featured items and
whats new section (events,
message and YouTube)

Tells you what DCED is by spelling


out acronym and provides short
explanation of what DCED does
Has clear navigation bar: enticing
and self-explanatory titles and
sub-titles appear
Includes 5 featured items and
Twitter feed

Does not tell you what FAO is


Has clear navigation bar:
conventional and self explanatory
titles, lack sub-titles
Includes sliders (5)
Includes 5 featured main items
(16 sub items), calendar and
twitter feed

Home page on one screen

Not on one screen

Not on one screen

Not on one screen but key helpful


links included in first screen

Not on one screen

USP or value proposition

No clear statement of USP nor is it


obvious

No clear statement of USP nor is it


obvious

Provides short explanation of why


DCED is important (also included in
navigation bar)

No clear statement of USP

Feeling of wanting more


depth of site

Uninviting. Key navigation bar


crowded, jumbled, unclear and
excludes sub-titles

Wanting to see more only when subtitles of navigation bar appears

Clean and inviting

Clean and inviting

Navigation

Navigable but neither intuitive nor


efficient

Navigable but neither intuitive nor


efficient

Highly navigable

Highly navigable

Ease of finding your way


around the website

No site map
Not obvious return to homepage

Site map (hard to find)


Not obvious return to homepage
Navigational links visible
Search test:

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Site map
Navigational links visible
Multilingual summaries

No site map
Navigational links visible
Fully multilingual

34

Platform

Content

Innovative use of different media and


social media, good access to internal
information, otherwise poor visual
content, inconsistent content, poor
support
and
opportunity
for
interaction

Effectiveness of website
content with regard to
use
of
non-text,
interaction,
currency,
conditions of use and
support

GFRAS

Navigational links somewhat


visible
Search test:
Obvious search function but
not intuitive (need to hit
return)
Docs found but not linked to
doc
Some dead links found

Mixed media: video


Level of interaction (text, graphics
and animation): minimal use of
visuals (except video and
publications), no animation or
graphics
Reviews,
testimonials
and
certifications: none
Up-to-date: no dates (except )
Terms and conditions: none
FAQs: none
Follow-up: contact us link and
subscription available
Accessibility: no statements
Other

Documents not always found


Some dead links found
Intelligent search function

DCED

FAO

Good use of visuals, links to social


media, opportunity for interaction
otherwise no use of multimedia and
low level of information on network

Multimedia: none
Level of interaction (text, graphics
and animation): use of visuals
Reviews,
testimonials
and
certifications: none
Up-to-date: no dates except link
to other sites
Terms and conditions: none
FAQs: none
Follow-up: contact us link and
subscription available
Other
Message board
Comments page
Links to social media

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Return to home page


Navigational links visible
Search test:
Documents found
Mobile site

Return to home page


Navigational links visible
Search test:
Documents found

Good use of graphics and visuals,


provision of conditions of use, links to
social media, good provision of
information on affiliated agencies
otherwise no use of multimedia and
low level of information on network

Innovative use of multimedia and


visuals, provision on conditions of use,
links to social media

Multimedia: none
Level of interaction (text, graphics
and animation): use of graphics,
visuals
Reviews,
testimonials
and
certifications: none
Up-to-date: no dates (except )
Terms and conditions: yes
FAQs: none
Follow-up: contact us link
Accessibility: statement of terms
of compliance, use of cookies and
privacy
Other
Links to social media
External links

Multimedia: audio and video,


webcasting, infographics
Level of interaction (text, graphics
and animation): use of graphics,
visuals
Reviews,
testimonials
and
certifications: none
Up-to-date: no dates (except )
Terms and conditions: yes
FAQs: none
Follow-up: contact us link
Other
Key facts
Links to social media
External links
Send and print functions

35

Platform

GFRAS

Lack of consistent information


made available (e.g. meeting
minutes not available for
AR4D or explanation for
absence)
YouTube channel
Detailed internal information
available (budgets, minutes)
Calendar updates by theme

Attractors
(draw
individuals to your site)

E-updates highlight website (but


need to subscribe or receive)

Findability

Intuitive url
Intuitive keyword

Making contact

No members login
Contact page

DCED

Directory
of
extension
providers
Lack of detailed internal
information
available
(budgets, minutes)

FAO
Agencies
PSD
policies
available
Lack of detailed internal
information
available
(budgets, minutes)

Provides whats new

Invites you to learn more

Clean website

Intuitive url
Intuitive keyword

Intuitive url
Intuitive keyword

Intuitive url
Intuitive keyword

Members login
Contact page (not working)
Help page

Members login
Contact page

No members login
General and detailed contact
pages with contact names and
positions

Source: Framework adapted from http://www.mcil.co.uk/review/7-10-criteria.htm

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3.5

Sustainability

In studying the sustainability of the Platform, information was sought on the following questions.

3.5.1

How does the Platform ensure its financial sustainability?


How does the Platform maintain coherence in membership? How sustainable is the FP role?
How does the Platform ensure its financial sustainability?

Not many informants spoke to this question, as many did not feel competent to do so. Among the
responses received, most were of the opinion that finances were managed judiciously and the
Platform was financially healthy. At least one person said continued funding in the future was
dependent on the Platform continuing to do what it was at present doing and doing well.
According to information the Secretariat provided for Strategic Plan phases 2009-2011 and 2012-2015,
the majority of Board members have contributed the yearly minimum of 50,000. Commitments
exceeding the yearly minimum contribution have been made by DFAT-D, DFID, IFAD, the Netherlands
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the
World Bank and, significantly higher, the EC and BMZ, as Table 6 indicates. Some felt it might be good
to reduce dependence on BMZ and the EC by expanding membership, particularly as key donors are
seriously considering whether the Platform remains a funding priority.
Those involved on a daily basis with the finances, including the Secretariat, noted that an important
part of sustainability was members making multi-year contributions. This would both allow for a
perspective of at least two years and reduce transaction costs for the Platform: each donor member
requires a specific contribution contract and has specific rules and regulations that make concluding
agreements time-consuming.
Does the Platform need more funds than it currently receives, and could it use more funds than it
currently mobilises? At this point in time, increasing the number of Secretariat staff is not desirable.
And if the Secretariat assumes a more proactive role, it may arguably be better able to spend more
funds by actively involving consultants/third parties to do (part of) the content work that it cannot
absorb, such as studies or facilitation of work themes (the livestock work stream worked with an
external facilitator to everyones satisfaction). In any case, most of the changes we suggest here can
be realised within the present funding reality. More focus (e.g. in the choice of work streams/themes
to be worked on) will not reduce costs dramatically but instead enrich and accelerate the work done
at present.
The ideal scenario for the Platform, therefore, would be being able to count on more donors willing
to provide multi-year funding. Considering its limited capacity to assimilate additional funds, the Board
could reconsider the membership fee requested from each donor. This should be done, as argued
before, on the basis of the new Strategic Plan and the history of the Platforms expenditure rates,
including 2014 data.

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

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Table 7: Platform member contribution arrangements signed and pending, 2009-2015 ()


Contributor

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

AfDB

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

tbd

AFD

50,000

50,000

50,000

tbd

BMZ

444,906

200,475

215,000

441,437

245,970

125,000

tbd

DFAT-Australia

50,000

tbd

DFAT-D-Canada/CIDA

92,321

82,478

108,954

87,837

87,837

87,837

tbd

DFID

134,534

113,173

136,519

63,830

63,830

EC

500,000

850,000

143,778

[-----------------------1,500,000--------------------]-

Finland-MFA

50,000

50,000

50,000

tbd

France-MFA

50,000

50,000

50,000

tbd

Global Mechanism

50,000

50,000

50,000

tbd

Irish Aid

12,486

tbd

IDRC

50,000

tbd

IFAD

85,436

71,600

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50.000

Italy-MFA

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

tbd

Netherlands-MFA

12,486

[----------------270,000---------------]

50,000

tbd

SDC

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

Sida

80,753

90,257

93,287

57,013

tbd

Spain-MFA

50,000

50,000

50,000

tbd

USAID

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

WFP

50,000

50,000

tbd

World Bank

60,783

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

tbd

Total contribution

1,673,705

1,757,984

1,287,538

1,501,286

1,198,807

1,201,667

588,830

Note: The 2013 report mentions that, of the signed agreements dedicated to the phase of strategic
plan 2012-2014 and signed by 31 December 2013, funds in the amount of 1,616,552.00 have not yet
been received as of 31 December 2013.

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3.5.2

Membership and the FP system in sustainability

Interviewee responses regarding membership at present and in the future can be grouped into three
categories: expanding membership; increasing the participation of current members; and changing
the nature of membership.
Expanding membership
Most interviewees agreed there was a need to expand membership, because the Platform needs to
adapt to the changing ARD landscape and to reflect new actors in ODA. Although expansion seems
inevitable, there were several concerns: expansion might entail becoming big and clumsy; how to
choose whom to include and when; and whether or not to include the private sector (i.e. private
foundations) and in what way. Concerns were expressed that the induction of new members might
threaten the safe space to share experiences, knowledge and intelligence that the Platform at present
provides.
Opinions differed on whom to include in the expansion. Some felt the Platform was for donors (and
not non-governmental organisations), and expansion could mean opening membership to nontraditional but emerging donors (the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Brazil, China India). Concerns
were expressed about including particular non-traditional donors, such as China and the United Arab
Emirates, on the grounds that they are too different from traditional donors and would change the
nature of conversation and engagement.
Including the private sector, a new ARD stakeholder, does not mean such actors need to become
members. They should be engaged with and invited to main events like the AGA and other dialogue
processes to promote responsible investment and support for smallholders. For example, the
MasterCard Foundation was invited to participate in the 2014 AGA. This was seen as important
because traditional ODA is shrinking and new financial instruments other than ODA are coming into
being whereby private involvement will be necessary to finance development.
The draft Member Engagement and Partnership Development Strategy, initiated in 2013 but not yet
approved, is being tried out this year. At present, efforts are being made to expand membership by
including first traditional OECD and multilateral members (Norway, Iceland, UN Women) then nontraditional ODA donors such as Korea and then foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation. The Platform should not shy away from engaging with other emerging donors (such as
Brazil, China and India), which would be beneficial for the Platform and the new donors, who have
much less experience on development policy and its implementation and can therefore learn from
and be inspired by the trajectories other donors have gone through in redefining aid in the past
decades.
Changing nature of membership
Some doubts were expressed about the value of differentiating between paying and non-paying
members, since only paying members can be Board members. This leaves out the most important
actor in ARD, FAO, which, being a non-paying member, cannot be invited to the Board (although in
the past it has been a Board member).

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Increasing participation of current members


Most interviewees discussed the position of the FP. FPs are the most important liaisons between the
Platform and member organisations. They have a dual role, which involves bringing in information
from their organisation and disseminating information received from the Platform to their
organisation. This also means they try to involve others in their organisation who are interested in or
working on some of the subjects or themes.
The position of the FPs and their ability to involve others in their organisation in Platform activities
depends on a number of factors. All FPs suffer from work overload. Many interviewed were openly
apologetic about not being able to do the job well because they were so overworked. The smaller the
donor, the more time pressure there is. Some of the bigger organisations have alternative FPs who
can share the work, but they too complained. FPs relationship with their organisation is also
influenced by how they are recruited to the position and what position they have in their organisation.
If they are not very senior in their own hierarchy, they are unlikely to pull much weight or recruit
support.
For these and other reasons, FPs can become the bottleneck, with the two-way information flow
arrested as a consequence. While many FPs agreed this was indeed the situation sometimes, very few
had suggestions for an alternative. As one informant opined, Its imperfect and fine if we are willing
to live with imperfection. Another person suggested the Secretariat be asked to contact, meet with
if necessary and discuss with FPs the difficulties being experienced and use the AGA to openly discuss
how some of these issues could be resolved. The Secretariat is already pursuing these suggestions,
which are part of the Member Engagement and Partnership Development Strategy.
Some felt the Platform was not well known enough in member organisations for their staff to have an
interest in it, and that it was especially poorly recognised among high-level people. The FP can
represent the Platform to their organisation up to a point but recognition of the Platform by other
sources is necessary to impress higher levels, who then could suggest that colleagues work with the
Platform.

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4.

Conclusions and recommendations

The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development was established in 2003, based on the aid
effectiveness agenda, with the aim of achieving increased and more effective ARD investments. While
the context for ARD for poverty reduction has changed since then, becoming more complex and
multidimensional, the need for increased ARD investments as well as coordination among all
stakeholders is as valid as it was 10 years ago.
Generally, the Platform is relevant and effective in acting as a network of diverse donors that share a
common concern for reducing poverty through ARD. Its strategies of knowledge-sharing, networking
and advocacy are relevant to and effective for members. The Platform adds value to the work and
investments of its members.
The Platforms structure and ways of working are not perfect. This is not because of poor management
and planning, inefficiencies or lack of resourcing: the Platform fares well in these areas, with some
exceptions. Rather, its imperfection is derived from the very nature and comparative advantage of the
Platform as a member-driven network of diverse organisations working in a dynamic and increasingly
complex area. In order to remain relevant in the future and to be able to adapt to changing
circumstances, the Platform needs to remain focused on its overall aim by prioritising and cherishing
its uniqueness and comparative advantage in contributing to multilateralism and a public good. At the
same time, members need to recognise and accept its inherent limits and constraints. This means
prioritising consensus (what can members live with even though there may not unanimity), flexibility
and support for the diversity in its membership.
One of the valued aspects of the Platform is its ability to bring donors together, share experiences and
knowledge and articulate common ground on issues related to ARD. For many members, it provides
the only space for multilateral interactions. Given this, its challenge in the present and the future
is to hold onto and expand this multilateral space in the donor community, in a world of increasing
bilateralism, in order to make agriculture work for rural development and reduce poverty.
A unique feature of the Platform, which distinguishes it from other platforms, is that it is membershipbased in that it relies on its members to drive the agenda. This characteristic is the foundation to
maintaining the multilateral space, but low levels of membership engagement could erode it. The task
for the future is to make it as feasible as possible for members to participate, to do what they find
relevant through the Platform and to get from the Platform what they see as being useful for their
work in their own organisations.
Part of preserving the Platforms uniqueness is an urgent need for members to accept its strengths,
its limitations and the many compromises needed to maintain a coherent membership of diverse
donors. Critical issues about governance, structure and membership need attention in order to make
the Platform fit for purpose in the future.
The following are the evaluation teams recommendations which do not entail increased budgets
assuming timely payment of membership fees:

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41

1. Design the upcoming strategic planning process to clarify (ensure clear and consistent messaging
on), communicate (ensure common understanding of) and engender renewed commitment
(adherence to what the Platform is and not what it isnt) to the remit of the Platform. In particular,
there needs to be agreement on and ownership of the nature of the Platform as a membership-based
organisation. Priority issues include the following:

Clarify and agree how, when and under what conditions the Platform takes on external
advocacy i.e. promoting a position on a specific issue by establishing a continuum of types
of collective work from sharing information to issuing and promoting joint statements under
the auspices of the Platform. This should be done in the realisation that it is very difficult in
an efficient and effective manner to reach consensus on policy content that goes beyond
the general ideas and principles the common ground papers presently cover.
Carry out more proactive internal advocacy through, for example, high-profile meetings for
members to discuss issues of particular importance, which not only FPs but also decisionmakers attend. Such meetings can be content-based, and aim at putting certain (upcoming)
themes, problems or opportunities on the agenda.
Accept that the level of activity of particular work stream is membership-driven and will wax
and wane depending on a number of factors, such as the interest and ability of members to
work on an issue and the profile of the issue in the global agenda. As a donor network,
members have an influence over these factors (see more on work streams below).
Revisit the role of the Secretariat (see below).

2. Expand the stakeholder base of the Platform:

Remain focused on the Platform being a network of donor members, while understanding and
adapting to the evolving nature of the term and the role of the donor.
Continue and increase the proactive engagement of donor members (as outlined in the draft
Member Engagement and Partnership Development Strategy) by increasing the profile of the
Platform, such as through proactive outreach and selling (e.g. visits to and presentations for
member organisations). This creates visibility, generates internal support for and interest and
increases the breadth and depth of member interactions with the Platform.
Continue with and strengthen Platform efforts to expand membership by first including
traditional OECD and multilateral members (Iceland, Norway, UN Women), then nontraditional ODA donors such as Korea, then foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation. The Platform should not shy away from engaging with other emerging donors
(such as Brazil, China and India).
Strategically engage with private sector stakeholders (but neither as members nor as partners)
to share information and experience and influence a pro-poor agenda.

3. Reform the roles of the Secretariat: There is a clear need to change the Secretariat role to allow it
to take more initiative so as to make it easier for members to implement activities. It is critical to
empower the Secretariat so it can get things done by catalysing, following up on and supporting
members work. Delegating certain decision-making to the Secretariat could take place within a
framework that clearly describes its role, decision-making level and remit as well as check-and-balance

Evaluation Report of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

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mechanisms (e.g. regular reporting to the chairs) to maintain the membership-based character of the
organisation and its flexibility in adapting and responding to emerging trends. This would mean:

Providing it with a clear mandate to:


o Conduct preliminary work (hold initial discussions, attend meetings) to better understand
key emerging issues and opportunities.
o Suggest emerging issues and opportunities to be taken on board by the Platform on the
basis of preliminary assessment (e.g. it could provide a quarterly briefing on emerging
issues and how they are being shaped and why).
o Implement member-driven workplans, approved by the Board taking the lead where a
member does not have the capacity to do so.
Changing/strengthening its (staff) composition to accommodate recognised technical
expertise and leadership in the sector, without becoming any larger.

4. Strengthen work themes: The work themes are the soul of the Platforms content work.

To avoid wasting the Secretariats time and effort in pushing certain themes that do not count
on enough critical mass, it is important to make explicit decisions to prioritise a few themes
per year. Priority themes could be decided on depending on the international events to take
place that year. This follows on from the finding that members have in the past organised their
work on themes around particular global events.
To make sure Platform discussions go (more often) beyond administrative matters, it could
support more face-to-face work stream meetings focusing specifically on content.
The role of the Platform is sharing knowledge and making it accessible and creating visibility
for a theme. The Secretariat could attend meetings of other networks as a way of exchanging
information and intelligence and feeding it back to Platform members. Active connecting links
could appear on each networks website.

5. Improve the functioning of the interface between the Platform and members: While the FPs are
a key feature of the Platform structure for member engagement, the mechanism has its limits. These
primarily concern organisational issues internal to the members and differences in types and sizes of
members. Ways of making the role of FPs more sustainable (and recognised) include the following:

Organise higher-level meetings for member organisations policy-makers, as already


suggested, to increase the interest of donors in the Platform.
(Continue to) visit large members to make the Platform better known and to clarify the role
and responsibilities of FPs.
Mandate the Secretariat and/or the Board to openly discuss the challenges facing FPs at the
AGA and during bilateral discussions with the FPs and support FPs in internal negotiations to
have more time to devote to the Platform, possibly drawing in positive experiences of other
FPs within the Platform.
Better institutionalise the FP role by providing more written guidance on how it can work,
support better transition between FPs, such as through orientations and handover
documentation and provide closer support to FPs in their initial work period so they can see
the value of their role.

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6. Improve the Platforms knowledge and information products and services: Many members find
the Platforms products and services very helpful, yet the use of web-based services is dwindling. The
Platform website provides a great deal of information but not in the most attractive, easily accessible
and inviting manner, despite the use of multimedia and innovative formats. The suggestion is to:

Have fewer interviews and virtual briefings, shorter pieces and better technical quality.
Redesign the website from a technical and content point of view, given the Platforms main
ways of communicating, sharing knowledge and networking is and will remain virtual. This
includes redesigning the home page to simplify it and give a strong first impression, setting up
options for interaction (a comments section) and improving overall usability by developing a
user strategy (e.g. do not list everything but improve attractiveness so as to encourage
searching for materials and to enhance searchability).
Link Platform information systems to those of individual members and provide an interface to
increase and facilitate two-way sharing of information. This could include collecting and
presenting comparative information and data (e.g. a page that has all donor ARD or gender
policies, budgets, etc.).

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External sources consulted


Chimhowu, A. (2013) Aid for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Global South: A Changing
Landscape with New Players and Challenges. Working Paper 2013/014. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER.
GFAR (Global Forum on Agricultural Research) 2013 (2013) 2012 Annual Report. Rome: GFAR.
IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) (2010) Rural Poverty Report 2011. New
Realities, New Challenges: New Opportunities for Tomorrows Generation. Rome: IFAD.
OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) (2012) Trends in Aid to Agriculture
and Rural Development. Paris: OECD.
World Bank (2003) Reaching the Rural Poor: A Renewed Strategy for Rural Development. Washington,
DC. World Bank.

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Annex A: Terms of reference

Terms of Reference
Evaluation of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development
Combined with Project Progress Review (BMZ) and Mid-term Review (EC)

1. Background to the assignment


The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (Platform), created in 2003, is a network of 37
bilateral and multilateral donors, international financing institutions, intergovernmental
organisations and development agencies. The Platform is committed to improving the quality of
development assistance in agriculture and rural development and increasing public investment in the
sector both overall, and as a share of members aid budgets. Platform members share a common
vision that agriculture and rural development is central to poverty reduction, and a conviction that
sustainable and efficient development requires a coordinated global approach.
In practical terms, the Platform comprises a network of professionals from institutions concerned
with rural and agricultural development. They collaborate in joint activities to elaborate products for
enhanced advocacy, policy formulation and the improvement of the policy dialogue at national and
international level, which support shared learning and are fostering harmonisation and alignment.
In 2008 the Canadian consulting firm Universalia conducted an evaluation of the Platform and
highlighted that the Platform needed to better define its overall objectives. On this basis, a Strategic
Plan was elaborated by members emphasising knowledge exchange and evidence-based advocacy as
the two pillars of future Platform operations. Since 2009, when the Platforms board approved the
Strategic Plan, the annual work plans has been the basis for Platform activities and initiatives. A Midterm review was conducted in 2011 by IISD. The board in the tenth year of Platform existence decided
to review the results achieved so far and position the Platform in the post2015 and future aid
architecture.
The Platform is at present chaired by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and DFAT-D of Canada.
The board is composed of those members that provide the annual membership fee. The Platforms
Secretariat is hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
(BMZ), with financial and staff services administered by German International Cooperation (GIZ). The
Secretariat is the central management unit of the Platform and comprises a team of seven people,
with the majority based in GIZs office in Bonn and two in Eschborn.

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2. Objectives of the evaluation


The overarching objective of the evaluation is to provide Platform members an analytical assessment
of the implementation of the Platform as a basis for informed decision-making to guide its future
development.
The evaluation will assess the relevance and effectiveness of the Platform through the perceptions of
the different stakeholders in the institutions of the agriculture and rural development community
who are either directly or indirectly involved in Platform activities, and by assessing the quality,
demand and usefulness of the Platform activities. The evaluation will also serve to respond to the
contractual obligations stemming from the BMZ and the European Community contributions.
The European Commissions Project Cycle Management (PCM) Guidelines of March 2004 states that
external monitoring objective is To provide () the European Commission with sufficient information
to make a mid-term review (MTR) informed judgment about the performance of the project (its
efficiency and effectiveness), and decisions about any required changes to project scope (such as
objectives, duration, financing, management arrangements etc.).
The Project Progress Review (PPR) is a binding element of all of GIZ's development measures, and it
serves to steer and prepare the next phase of the project. The PPR findings contribute to planning the
continuation of the project and provide the foundation for the offer for the next phase.
There is a particular challenge in evaluating the Platform, as it must combine both an assessment of
the effectiveness of the Platform to fulfil its mandate in influencing policy processes, as well as
demonstrate the added value and sustainability of its function as a network. The exercise is more
than a conventional programme evaluation where it is widely accepted as good practice to provide a
summary of programme expectations, explain a linear progression from cause and effect leading to a
process of change. It is expected that the analysis of both processes and results will feed into the
recommendations on the future conduct and operations of the Platform, which are also needed to
lay the ground for the Strategic Plan 2016-2020.
The evaluation will examine the following issues:
-

the performance of the Platform against its objectives;


the relevance and effectiveness of the organization and operations of the Platform;
the quality of the Platforms products and services, in terms of usefulness and effectiveness;
the need for the Platform from the perspective of different stakeholders;
and, the evaluation will provide evidence-based recommendations on future development of
the Platform.

3. Methodology
The objectives of this evaluation will be met by examining the key criteria of relevance, efficiency,
effectiveness, impact, and sustainability of the Platform.

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Relevance: The ability of the Platform to meet the needs and gain the support of its priority
stakeholders in the past and present and future and to the extent to which its objectives are
consistent and valid with global priorities and stakeholder requirements.
Key questions could include:
-

Are advocacy and knowledge sharing appropriate and sufficient to deliver the Platform
objective?
Are the Platforms objectives and strategies consistent with international frameworks
such as (but not limited to) the Busan Partnership, Paris Declaration, MDGs?
Is the Platform meeting the needs of it membership? And is it adapting to emergent needs
and challenges?

Efficiency: The cost and quality of the Platforms activities (products and services) in relation to its
overall objective and strategies.
Key questions could include:
-

How efficiently is the Platform using its financial and human resources?
Are the administrative and operational systems providing good value for money?
Can the cost/quality of products and services of the Platform be benchmarked against a
similar type of international network?

Effectiveness: The effectiveness of the Platform with regards to achieving its objective, and the
quality and usefulness of the services and products (reports, videos etc)
Key questions could include:
-

What are the major accomplishments in the Platforms approach to knowledge exchange?
Does the Platform provide focused collaboration between partner organizations leading
to concerted and consistent advocacy in agriculture and rural development?
Does the Platform use feedback to improve its operations, products and services?

Sustainability: Building on relevance, efficiency and effectiveness, the sustainability of the Platform
is its ability to deliver results, maintain leadership and coherence in membership, and generate
sufficient financial resources to fulfil its mandate now and in the future.
Key questions could include:
-

Does the Platform keep a reasonable surplus of funds to use in challenging times?
Do the leadership and governance structures provide adequate support to the operations
sustainability of the Platform?
What are the results of the Platforms partnership strategies on its sustainability?

The assignment is expected to comprise:


a. An evaluation framework which responds to these Terms of Reference and provides a
detailed methodology, schedule of work and budget;
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b. Background study, methodological development, document review and analysis, interview


guidelines and questionnaire;
c. Analysis of findings and preparation of draft evaluation report;
d. Consultative meetings with the Evaluation Reference Group of the Platform throughout the
evaluation to provide critical review of methodology, preliminary finding, and draft reports;
e. A final report and a sharing of findings meeting with the Platform Board
4. Roles and responsibilities
This evaluation involves the participation and coordination of four groups: the Evaluation Team, the
Evaluation Reference Group, the Platform Secretariat and the Platform Board. The roles and
responsibilities of each group are identified below:
The Evaluation Team for which there is preference for a team of at least two senior expert evaluators
with support from a research assistant will:
-

Develop and present an evaluation framework to the Evaluation Reference Group. The
evaluation framework includes methodology, interview guidelines and questionnaire, and
schedule of work and budget.
Collect and analyse data
Write the evaluation report
Present the first draft of the evaluation report to the Evaluation Reference Group
Participate in meetings (teleconference and/or in person) with the Evaluation Reference
Group (a maximum of four, one at the beginning of the assignment, two to be identified
once the evaluation framework is approved and one to present the findings)
Develop an agenda and facilitate a Sharing of Findings meeting with the Platform Board to
present and discuss the final evaluation

The Evaluation Reference Group, a sub-committee of five Board members will:


-

Review and approve the proposed evaluation framework


Review the first draft of the evaluation report
Provide input in the agenda of the Sharing of Findings meeting

Review the final evaluation report


The Platform Secretariat, hosted by GIZ and responsible for the management and coordination of
the Platform, will:
-

Provide the Evaluation Team with all relevant documentation and contact information for
the membership involved in the interview portion of the evaluation
Coordinate the logistical arrangements of the meetings and the travel of the Evaluation
Team
Manage the contract with the Evaluation Team

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The Platform Board will:


-

Review and approve the final evaluation report


Participate in the Sharing of Findings meeting Facilitate use of the findings.

5. Outputs
This consultancy has three main outputs: an evaluation framework, an evaluation report and a
sharing of findings meeting
(i) The Evaluation Framework should contain the following elements:
A proposal to conduct the evaluation including a detailed methodology and which responds
to the Terms of Reference
A schedule of work and budget
(ii) The Evaluation Report should meet the following requirements:
A written (electronic) report in English that should not exceed 15 pages plus annexes;
The report should contain an executive summary (2 pages maximum) that can serve as a
stand-alone document;
Recommendations on specific performance criteria (relevance, efficiency, effectiveness,
sustainability) and priorities of the Platform, with regards to the strengths it has developed
over the past 10 years; keeping or adapting the Platform objectives and expected results until
the end of the agreement and general commentary on progress towards the 2011 evaluation
conclusions;
(iii) The Sharing of Findings meeting is the final presentation of the Evaluation Report to the
Platform Board. The evaluation team with input from the Evaluation Reference Group and
logistical support from the Platform Secretariat is responsible for developing the agenda and
preparing the materials for this meeting
6. Timeline
The evaluation will be conducted over a four months period beginning 26 August 2014.
7. Travels
All travels of the evaluation team will be coordinated in close collaboration with the Platform
secretariat.

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Annex B: List of evaluation participants


Interviews
Name

Organisation

Position in organisation

Role in Platform

Monika Midel

Platform Secretariat

Secretariat Coordinator

Secretariat Member

Christian Mersmann

Platform Secretariat

Policy Advisor

Secretariat Member

Christian Schulze

Platform Secretariat

Advisor (former)

Secretariat Member

Marion Thomson

Platform Secretariat

Finance Officer

Secretariat Member

Marjaana Pekkola

MFA-Finland

Counsellor (Rural
Co-Chair/FP/Board Member
Development) at Embassy
of Finland in Nairobi

Nikita Eriksen-Hamel

DFAT-D

Senior Agricultural Policy Co-Chair/FP/Board Member


Advisor, Thematic and
Sectoral Policy Directorate

Maria Ketting

EC DG DEVCO

Head of Policy and


Planning

FP/Board Member

Raymond Lataste

EC DG DEVCO

Policy and Planning

FP

Birgit Gerhardus

BMZ

Senior Advisor

FP/Board Member

Jim Woodhill

DFAT

Principal Sector Specialist, FP/Board Member


Rural Development

David Hegwood

USAID

Senior Food Security


Adviser

Secretariat

Focal points

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Name

Organisation

Position in organisation

Role in Platform

Suzanne Taylor

IDRC

Senior Partnership Officer

FP/Board Member

Mauro Ghirotti

MFA-Italy

Senior Officer, Livestock,


Rural Development, Food
Security Research and
Training

FP/Board Member

Brian Baldwin

IFAD

Senior Operations
Management Advisor

FP/Board Member

Iris Krebber

DFID

Senior Land Policy Lead

FP/Board Member

Monique Calon

MFA-The Netherlands

Senior Policy Advisor,


Directorate for
Sustainable Economic
Development Section:
National Policy
Environment

FP/Board Member

Jorge Muoz

World Bank

Land Tenure Adviser, ARD

FP

Guy Evers

FAO

Deputy Director of the


Investment Centre
(Technical Cooperation
Department)

FP

Waltraud Rabisch

ADA

Division for International


Projects: Quality and
Knowledge Management,
Division for Rural
Development

FP

Jesper Rvn Hansen

MFA-Denmark

Senior Technical Advisor

FP

Felix Fellman

SDC

Focal point Agriculture


and Food Security
Network

FP

Cesar Falconi

IADB

Agriculture Principal
FP
Specialist, Natural
Resources and Disaster
Risk Management Division

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Name

Organisation

Position in organisation

Role in Platform

Sofie van Waeyenberge

BTC

Coordinator Desk,
Agriculture/Rural
Development

FP

Indirect participants (staff from member organisations)


Name

Organisation

Position in organisation

Role in Platform

Stefan Schmitz

BMZ

Head of Division, Rural


Development and Food
Security

Indirect

Maria Hartl

IFAD

Technical Advisor, Gender


and Social Equity

Indirect

Marketa Jonasova

World Bank

Operations Officer

Indirect

Lynn Brown

World Bank

Nutrition consultant

Indirect

Luis Waldmller

GIZ

Climate Change

Indirect

Helmut Albert

GIZ

Head of Competence Centre Indirect

Martina Wenger

GIZ

Gender Advisor

Indirect

Heike Hoeffler

GIZ

Advisor for Agricultural


Policy

Indirect

Lucia Castillo Fernandez EC DG DEVCO

Indirect

Marie Hlne Novak

EC DG DEVCO

Indirect

Jean-Pierre Halkin

EC DG DEVCO

Head of Unit C1 Rural


Development, Food
Security, Nutrition

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53

Pedro Martel

IADB

Indirect

Andrew Hilton

FAO

Senior Land Tenure Officer

Member of Global Donor


Working Group on Land

Paul Munro

FAO

Chief, Land Tenure Service

Member of Global Donor


Working Group on Land

Frits vander Wal

MFA-The Netherlands

Senior Policy Advisor


Cluster Food & Nutrition
Security, Focal Point Land
Governance

Member of Global Donor


Working Group on Land

Focus group discussions


Name

Organisation

Position in organisation

Role in Platform

Members of Platform Secretariat (active participants)

Monika Midel

Platform Secretariat

Secretariat Coordinator

Secretariat Member

Christian Mersmann

Platform Secretariat

Policy Advisor

Secretariat Member

Christian Schulze

Platform Secretariat

Advisor (former)

Secretariat Member

Marion Thomson

Platform Secretariat

Finance Officer

Secretariat Member

FAOs FPs in Platforms thematic portfolio

Charlotte Dufour

FAO

Food Security, Nutrition


and Livelihoods Officer
ESN

Member of FAOs FP group on


Nutrition

Mark Holderness

GFAR (c/o FAO/DDNG)/FAO

Executive Secretary of
GFAR DDNG

Member of FAOs FP group on


Research (AR4D)

Hajnalka Petrics

FAO

Gender and
Development Officer
ESP

Member of FAOs FP group on


Gender and Youth

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Name

Organisation

Position in organisation

Role in Platform

Stefano Marta

FAO

International consultant
(present on behalf of
Vito Cistulli) ESP

Member of FAOs FP group for


thematic portfolio

Caroline Plant

Agriculture Global Practice,


World Bank

Advisor

Member of World Banks


Agriculture Global Practice

Eija Pehu

Agriculture Global Practice,


World Bank

Advisor

Member of World Banks


Agriculture Global Practice

Francois G. Le Gall

Agriculture Global Practice,


World Bank

Advisor

Member of World Banks


Agriculture Global Practice

World Bank

USAID

Jennifer Long

USAID

Indirect

Zachary Baquet

USAID

Indirect

Jennifer Chow

USAID

Indirect

Moffatt Ngugi

USAID

Indirect

DFAT-D

Sebastian
Dalykindvater

DFAT-D

Analyst, Americas Branch Global Food Security and


Environment Directorate

Anna Borotko

DFAT-D

Food Security Policy


Analyst

Global Food Security and


Environment Directorate

Emilie Milroy

DFAT-D

Communications Officer

Knowledge Networks, Development


Policy Division

Jonathan Woof

DFAT-D

Communications Officer

Knowledge Networks, Development


Policy Division

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Name

Organisation

Position in organisation

Role in Platform

Valerie Potvin

DFAT-D

Policy Analyst

Global Food Security and


Environment Directorate

Mustaq Ahmed

DFAT-D

Senior Agriculture
Specialist

Global Food Security and


Environment Directorate

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Annex C: List of documents consulted


Strategic Plans and Reports

Platform Strategic Plan 2012-2015

Platform Strategic Plan 2009-2011

Annual Reports

Platform Annual Report 2012

Platform Annual Report 2013

Audit Reports

2012 PwC External Audit Report

2013 PwC External Audit Report

Financial Documents and Progress Reports

2012 Platform Indicative Budget

2013 Platform Indicative Budget

2014 Platform Indicative Budget

Progress Reports

2012 Progress Report

2013 Progress Report

2014 Progress Report (first semester)

Workplans

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2012 Platform Workplan

2013 Platform Workplan

2014 Platform Workplan

At a Glance

2012 At a Glance

2013 At a Glance

2014 At a Glance

Governance Documents

Platform Charter

2014 Management Meetings Minutes

2014 Board Meetings Minutes

2013 Management Meetings Minutes

2013 Board Meetings Minutes

Evaluations

2008 Universalia Platform Network Evaluation Final Report

2011 IISS Platform Mid-Term evaluation Report (only draft for comment currently available)

Joint Approaches

On Common Ground Donor Perspectives on Agriculture & Rural Development and Food Security & Nutrition (revised
version following member consultation 2012-2013)

Joint Donor Principles for Agriculture and Rural Development Programmes. Incentives for Change. (Secretariat, 2009)

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Guidelines for Donor Support to CAADP Process at a Country Level (2009)

Cornerstones for Effective Agriculture and Rural Development Programmes under a Programme-Based Approach
(2006)

On Common Ground A Joint Donor Concept on Rural Development. Donor Consensus on Key Drivers and Principles of
and Approaches to Rural Development Delivery (2006)

The Role of ARD in Achieving the Millennium Development Goals A Joint Donor Narrative (2005)

Policy Briefs

No. 1 Improve RuralUrban Linkages to Reduce Poverty (October 2007)

No. 2 The Future of Smallholder Agriculture (October 2008)

No. 3 Gender and Agriculture (independent consultant specialising in gender, value chains and participatory research)
(December 2010)

No. 4 Effective Aid for Agriculture and Rural Development: The Search for Coherence (Steve Wiggins, ODI) (October
2011)

No. 5 Aid to Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Security (ODI) (October 2011)

No. 6 The Strategic Role of the Private Sector in Agriculture and Rural Development (ODI) (December 2011)

No. 7 Promoting Scientific Partnership for Food Security (Agrinatura EEIG, University of Greenwich) (January 2012)

No. 8 Donor Methods to Prioritise Investments in Agricultural Research and Development (USAID, Nikita, CIDA,
summary of synthesis paper with the same title written by George W. Norton and Jeffery Alwang) (October 2012)

No. 9 Land in a Post-2015 Framework (Iris Krebber, DFID, and Christian Shulze, Platf Scr.) (December 2013)

No. 10 Land Target and Indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals (Christian Shulze Land Group) (April 2014)

Studies

Prospects Agriculture and Rural Development Assistance in the Post-2015 Development Framework (edition based on
member consultation in January 2014)

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Issue Paper

No. 5 Agriculture in Long-Term Cooperative Action

Virtual Information

Virtual Briefings overview

E-Updates overview

Webstats overview (2014)

Webstats (May 2014)

Webstats (April 2014)

Webstats (February 2014)

Webpres year on in comparison (2012-2013)

Others

Platform Membership Strategy

Platform Members Survey

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