Full report of the evaluation of the Liberia PRRO 10454.0 (July 2007-June 2009): a report from the Office of Evaluation

Phil O'Keefe, Bruce Crawshaw, Maureen Forsythe, Caroline Heider

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This evaluation examined the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of protracted relief and recovery operation 10454.0 “Food Assistance for Relief and Recovery in Post-Conflict Liberia”. The objective of the evaluation was twofold: i) to determine the degree to which project objectives had been achieved; and ii) to draw lessons from which to enhance performance in the next phase of the operation. The evaluation was carried out by a team of external consultants who conducted field research from 2 to 19 November 2008. The evaluation found that there was a clear need for food aid in Liberia and that school feeding, which accounted for approximately three quarters of project commodities, was an appropriate activity that channelled substantial quantities of food to remote rural areas under difficult operational conditions. However, the evaluation also found that the operation design was weak: it sought to achieve too much in a situation where capacity to implement programmes was extremely limited at all levels, and the main activities did little to address the main causes of food insecurity and vulnerability in the country. The operation design could have been more closely linked to the findings of the 2006 comprehensive food security and nutrition survey, and could have considered transition issues and exit strategies more fully. The operation became measurably more efficient during the period under review, owing to a series of management initiatives that resulted in better accountability at all levels and lower operational costs. However, although service delivery improved, monthly delivery targets were rarely met, and project outputs were generally below planned levels, owing to poor rural transport infrastructure and severe damage caused by rainy seasons. It was difficult to assess the operation’s effectiveness, because an adequate monitoring and evaluation system was not in place, but the evaluation found that the impact was generally positive and significant. There was widespread agreement that the school feeding activity had been important in helping to: i) revitalize the education system in rural areas; and ii) encourage the return and resettlement of displaced people. Many participants in food for work had invested a portion of their wages in income-generation ventures, which had led to sustained increases in household income. WFP’s capacity-building efforts had helped to bring food security and nutrition issues to the forefront of policy discussion in Liberia. Future interventions should seek to address the causes of food insecurity and vulnerability directly. Interventions should be more clearly focused, to bring them into line with prevailing implementation capacities, and should address issues of transition and the phase-out of activities. Protracted relief and recovery operation and school feeding guidance should identify more clearly the different types of transition and appropriate indicators to guide the timing of the transition process. Nutrition activities should be refocused to address chronic malnutrition through an expanded mother-and-child health programme.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRome
PublisherWorld Food Programme
Number of pages84
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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