Evaluating CRS' Soya ni Pesa Project
In 2017, the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) was contracted by Catholic Relief Services' (CRS) Tanzania mission to evaluate their Soya ni Pesa (SnP), or "Soybean is Money," project.
Funded from 2012 through 2016 by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the SnP Project was a value project designed to increase the competitiveness of soybean production and processing. CRS aimed to strengthen the soybean value chain in Tanzania through working with smallholder farmers and facilitating their integration into markets, especially targeting the poultry industry. Implemented over four years by CRS, in conjunction with local Tanzanian implementing partners, the project delivered inputs and training in production techniques, market information, and business development to enable farmers to boost yields, add value to their crop, and increase household incomes through soybean cultivation. The project also included complementary activities to support poultry production by women entrepreneurs, thereby extending the linkages of the soybean value chain.
NDIGD was brought in by CRS one year after the project's conclusion to examine whether the project achieved its goals and left lasting, sustainable impact in the four regions in Tanzania where it was implemented. In January of 2018, Lila Khatiwada, a monitoring and evaluation specialist at NDIGD, and Sarah Peters, a 5+1 post-doctoral fellow at Notre Dame, traveled to Tanzania to conduct an impact evaluation of the project. The two collected data through a household survey, conducted focus group discussions, and visited farms where the SnP project had been implemented. Throughout 2018, the two will review the collected data and submit a final report to CRS on the development effectiveness of the SnP project.
Ultimately, NDIGD hopes the evaluation of this project can make a significant contribution to the body of agricultural development policy. NDIGD hopes to identify whether investment in cash crops like soybeans among subsistent farmers in rural areas has the potential to develop local economies and subsequently improve the lives of community members.