An independent evaluation assessing how SDC-financed MSD projects in agriculture were implemented from 2013 to 2019. SDC funded 275 projects in this period that had major elements of MSD in agriculture.
Overall the evaluators conclude that MSD was demanding on project teams and the Swiss Cooperation Offices (SCOs). A high level of skill was required to find market failures and define what to do. Ensuing actions needed to stimulate the private sector without distorting the market whilst avoiding the project becoming trapped as a permanent actor.
Over several phases, projects built up their skill base. They achieved this either by training their own staff or by building local NGO capacity. This gave rise to a slow start, but it paid dividends over the years with considerable skills being built up within the projects.
Recommendations from the evaluation:
- Clarify the role of MSD in Swiss development cooperation in the future
- Continue to support the development of the approach to better respond to the SDGs through enhancing inclusiveness, gender equality, and climate resilience
- Link the MSD projects and interventions to wider processes to gain coherence and critical mass
- Contribute more explicitly to the private sector and market-related policy and reforms
- Seek and explore options for longer-term anchorage of the MSD approach
- Sharpen project design, monitoring and reporting on drivers of change and system changes
- Enhance SCO role and develop capacity within SCO, implementing agents and national entities to implement MSD in agriculture
The report includes the senior management response to the evaluation.