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A light-touch review from DFID to identify and synthesise learning around the design of commercial agriculture programmes in Africa, as well as approaches to evaluating such programmes.

It is part of DFID’s work to strengthen learning from its programme portfolio across sectors and geographies and to make best use of the evidence generated by DFID-funded evaluation studies.

It focuses on eight programmes and addresses five key questions:

  1. What are the areas of common learning across the evaluations? For the Africa Regional Department multi-country evaluations – do the evaluations identify any specific advantages or challenges involved with taking a regional or multi-country approach to provide support in this area?
  2. To what extent are the outcome and impact statements of the programmes examined coherent with the directions set out in DFID’s Conceptual Framework on Agriculture?
  3. What were the advantages/disadvantages of the evaluation methods used? Would other forms of evidence generation provide more effective ways to meet evidence gaps?
  4. Where the evaluations examined common questions or theory of change assumptions, to what extent do they provide consistent evidence for or against these?
  5. Were there any opportunities to build in practical measures to make it easier to synthesise learning across programmes in future? For example, are there any common evaluation questions, or common metrics, or common value for money measures that have been used successfully across more than one of the evaluations reviewed?