This is a report on the mid-term evaluation of the Consolidating Cooperative and Agribusiness Recovery (COCAR) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Timor-Leste. The evaluation was conducted during the period December 2012 – February 2013, by a team assembled by Mendez, England & Associates (ME&A) with headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland.
The purpose of the evaluation was to examine the technical and managerial performance of the COCAR project, including the implementing partner National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), and the partner organization Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT), in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the activities and interventions being implemented under COCAR, as well as identify project’s strengths and areas for improvement. The evaluation also assessed the current capacity level of CCT and its ability to function in the absence of donor funding.
At the request of the USAID Mission, the evaluation did not address the community health extension and cattle fattening activities implemented under the project.
The evaluation was guided by USAID’s criteria for evaluation, including: a) Relevance; b) Effectiveness and Efficiency; c) Impact; d) Monitoring; and e) Sustainability. As per the Scope of Work (SOW), the evaluation considered the following guiding questions:
· Have project interventions been effective in increasing incomes and improving the wellbeing, including food security, of targeted beneficiaries?
· How important are the interventions for the target groups and subgroups (women) and to what extent does it meet their needs and interests1?
· To what extent are COCAR activities, including various value chains, sustainable from a financial and institutional perspective?
· How well has NCBA/CCT implemented the project, and are they on target for reaching the objectives outlined in the Cooperative Agreement?
· How can the monitoring system be modified to more accurately reflect the project’s progress towards the desired objectives and reporting requirements of USAID?