Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Feed the Future Learning Agenda

It's all about M&E

Welcome to second installment of the M&E Blog Series! I’m Tania Tam from the Feed the Future M&E Team. I’m planning to give you a peek into Feed the Future M&E from the inside and start discussions about M(&)E. We hope you bookmark us and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Post your comments on what we can do to make this more useful for you!

A crucial part of Feed the Future (FTF) is the recognition of the fact that learning and testing our assumptions is vital to all FTF programming. This is the only way that we can identify programs and practices capable of improving outcomes on the ground. Monitoring and Evaluation is therefore a central part of Feed the Future (well, it is all about ME), and the FTF Learning Agenda has been developed to strategize how we will learn from our programming.

The Learning Agenda is a set of questions we aim to answer through evidence-based hypothesis-testing primarily through impact evaluations, but also through performance evaluations, economic analysis, and policy analysis. The six areas of focus in the Learning Agenda are:

  1. Agricultural Productivity — For example, what approaches will address natural resource management, while increasing productivity and profitability?
  2. Research & Development — For example, what R&D programs have had an impact on the policy or enabling environment?
  3. Markets, Value Chains and Increased Investment — For example, what has been the impact of infrastructure interventions on reducing poverty?
  4. Nutrition and Dietary Quality — For example, what activities have enabled value chain investments to lead to improved consumption of diverse diets?
  5. Gender Integration and Women’s Empowerment — For example, have capacity building and increased leadership opportunities for women led to increased participation of women in leadership roles in the community?
  6. Resilience of Vulnerable Populations — For example, do safety net programs promote greater participation of poorer households in prudent risk taking and more remunerative economic activities?

We need to learn much more about which interventions have the greatest impact, which interventions are most cost-effective, and what combination or sequence of interventions or investments work best to reach these goals.

We also need to determine the effects of FTF programs on rural livelihoods, women’s empowerment, vulnerable populations, farm and off-farm employment for males and females, global climate change, and improved natural resource management that sustains livelihoods and resources for future generations (well, it is all about Feeding the Future).

These are the aims of the Learning Agenda.

A concrete way forward: FTF will conduct over 30 impact evaluations over the next five years. The findings generated through those impact evaluations will contribute to a broader knowledge and understanding of food security – with the aim of improving the design and management of interventions in agriculture and nutrition in the future.

For more details about our Learning Agenda, view the full document here