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									                International Initiative for Impact Evaluation

   The personal data provided on this form will be processed by 3ie, and may be held on computerised
 database and/or manual files. It will be used by 3ie solely for the purposes of grant review, and will not
            be placed in the public domain without the prior permission of the applicant(s).

3ie Policy Window
Grant Application Form

Please read the ‘Call for proposals’ before completing this form
Email completed application to PW1@3ie before 11.55 pm Delhi time on June 11th 2010.
Notes: (1) Please submit the form in English language only. (2) Please do not exceed the indicated work
limits, but you may submit additional documents (project documents and so on).

 Intervention (programme/project/policy) to be evaluated

Name of intervention              Transitional Food Assistance Program
                                  & In-Depth Assessment of Food Insecurity in Burundi
Country(ies) of
Sector(s) (e.g. Health,
                                  Food Security, Agriculture, Environment
Education, Agriculture)
 Organisation making the application*
Organisation                      Help Channel Burundi
Division or Department            N/A
Organisation website    

 *This should be the organisation where the grant will be held

 Organization type where the grant would be held (Please check. If other, please specify)
Government agency
NGO                                    √

 Legal Status of Organization where the grant would be held

What is the organization’s legal status (e.g. nationally           Nationally registered NGO
registered NGO)?

What is the organization’s legal tax status?                       Non-profit

Is the organization legally eligible to receive overseas grants?   Yes

                                                   Page 1 of 5                                 3ie grant application
 Details of implementing agency if different from above
Project or agency website

 List the objectives of the intervention

        •   Increase household food availability for 4,000 households in 3 provinces of Burundi;
        •   Strengthen local seed systems through market interventions;
        •   Reforestation of 450 hectares in three provinces;
        •   Develop strategies for environmental protection and increased awareness;
        •   Conduct in-depth assessments of food security issues;
        •   Utilize research to develop longer-term food assistance programming;
        •   Utilize a mixture of M&E methods to assess and understand project imp act and guide project

 Primary outcome measure(s)
 List the primary outcome measures for the intervention

• Coping Strategy Index scores;
• Levels of livestock ownership;
• Prevalence of Borderline Food Consumption Scores;
• Number of hectares of hillside planted with forest tree seedlings;
• Number of market-based community grain banks established;
• Policy developed with local authorities for ensuring access/rights to harvests from and
  protection/maintenance of tree plantations;
• Extent to which project evaluation processes use participatory methods;
• Extent to which assessments address knowledge gaps and involve participation of smallholder farmers.

 Target population and scope
 List the target population group(s), and the targeting mechanisms used. Indicate also the population to be
 reached in the appropriate units (e.g. number of households, firms, schools or individuals) (max. 400
This project primarily consists of food for work reforestation activities in 12 locations in three provinces of
Burundi. Participants in the FFW scheme are self selected and the project's targeting strategy is based on
the assumption that only people who are experiencing severe food shortages will be willing to work for
food, since there is a moderate social stigma associated with working for food in Burundi. The project will
target 4,000 households representing about 24,000 direct beneficiaries (based on an average household
size of 6). The project also includes an innovative market-based community grain bank component,
which will target 6,000 small farmers and—in parallel with in-depth context-specific assessments of local
food systems —is designed to make a major contribution to food assistance policy in Burundi. This
intervention will have an immediate impact on the farm-gate prices that participating farmers receive,
help to strengthen farmers' associations, and will demonstrate the feasibility and relevance of seed saving
and grain storing practices. The current policy landscape is dominated by cycles of agricultural input
distributions, which threaten to entangle Burundi's small farmers in long-term aid dependency.

 Geographical coverage
 Indicate if the intervention is national or regional. If not national, indicate the regions/districts in which it
 operates or will operate
This project will operate in 12 communes in the three provinces of Kirundo, Rutana, and Makamba. These
regions represent some of the poorest and most food insecure regions of Burundi.

                                                     Page 2 of 5                                     3ie grant application
 Description of the intervention (activities)
 Describe the intervention to be evaluated, outlining the major activities/components (max. 600 words)
       The project will alleviate hunger through food-for-work programming, advocacy for improved
       agricultural practices, and support of local markets. Increasing forest cover, and improving local
       watershed management will contribute to environmental restoration and long-term food security.
       The project's in-depth, context-specific assessment of food security issues will enhance food
       sovereignty by ensuring that HCB's lo ng-term food assistance programming is informed by on-farm
       participatory research and an understanding of the complex dynamics affecting local agri-food

       This project responds to the need for transitional programming that critically examines the role of
       food assistance in supporting local food systems and improving long-term food security. The
       project's research and assessment component will use participatory methods and expert technical
       assistance to address the need for a better understanding of cultural dynamics that drive and
       constrain the realization of food sovereignty in Burundi. In the past, HCB included seed
       distribution as a part of its food assistance programming. However, significant questions about the
       strategy and impact of direct seed distribution have prompted a reorientation of this component.
       Access to seed is undeniably a central aspect of food security in Burundi and through in-depth
       assessment, this project will explore opportunities to address constraints to seed access such as a
       lack of information about improved seed varieties, transportation barriers, financial constraints,
       and storage issues.

       This project will pilot an innovative community grain bank model that is designed to narrow the
       gap between farm-gate and market prices. These grain banks will be initially financed by HCB, and
       run by local farmers associations. Expert technical assistance will be used to develop a detailed
       plan for this component.

       Many small farmers in Burundi are marginalized by a cycle of poverty that forces them to sell their
       crops for very low prices at harvest time in order to satisfy debt obligations or as a result of
       distrust in or lack of storage strategies. There are few if any alternative financial services
       accessible to these farmers. However, microcredit institutions and banks readily lend to traders
       who buy crops from small farmers and reap large margins speculating on dramatic seasonal price
       fluctuations. HCB has conceived the Market-based Community Grain Bank (MCGB) model as a way
       of increasing profit margins on sale of harvests for marginalized farmers while addressing their
       need for immediate cash at harvest time.
       The successful implementation of this model can harness market forces to increase farmers'
       incomes, strengthen local farmers' associations, and eventually smooth-out price variability and
       reduce dependency on predatory lending.

 Institutional arrangements
 Describe the institutional arrangements for the management and implementation of the intervention
 (max. 400 words)

Help Channel Burundi will directly manage the implementation of this intervention. HCB works closely
with local authorities, but conducts its projects as an independent non-governmental organization.
Because of its close working relationship with other international aid agencies, HCB is able to closely
coordinate its food assistance programming with the World Food Program, FAO, and other NGOs.

HCB has its headquarters in Bujumbura, and maintains two field offices, one in the northern province of
Kirundo, and one in the Southern province of Rutana. Operations in Makamba are managed from the
Rutana field office.

Local managers will be hired to supervise activities in each of the 12 project areas.

 Outline the timeline for the intervention, e.g. when it started or will star and any future planned
 expansion of coverage
                                                   Page 3 of 5                                   3ie grant application
This project will begin in June 2010 and continue through June 2011. However, it represents a
continuation of programming that was begun in 2008, and is intended to inform a five year strategic plan
that will extend/expand HCB's food security programming through 2016.

 Monitoring and evaluation
 Describe the existing M&E system for ongoing evaluations, including baseline data if any. For planned
 interventions describe planned M&E (max. 400 words)

       To track the status of the project's indicators of change and support a process of continuous
       learning, several monitoring and evaluation tools will be utilized. Some of these tools utilize
       participatory methodologies that are expected to make contributions towards the project's peace
       building outputs through increasing dialogue and strengthening local farmer associations.

       Both cross-sectional and longitudinal household level surveys will be used to collect data on the
       project's results and food security issues in the project areas. Mobile devices will be used for data
       collection to streamline the data analysis process and facilitate the integration of multimedia into
       the survey process. These surveys will inform rigorous quantitative analysis and qualitative
       assessment of a number of issues including food consumption, asset wealth, coping strategies,
       livestock ownership, market access, economic status, and socio-cultural aspects of food security.

       This project will explore the use of the most significant change technique for project monitoring
       and evaluation. With the use of digital video, change stories will be collected from beneficiaries
       and shared with other beneficiaries and stakeholders whose reactions and comments will also be
       documented. Change stories, along with layers of multi-stakeholder analysis, will be used as the
       basis for dialogue and discussion in various forums and will be made publically available. Material
       generated in this process will also be integrated with surveys to create a virtual dialogue.

       Key informant interviews and focus group discussions will be central to the project's in-depth
       ethnographic research on food security issues. Qualitative research expertise will be leveraged to
       ensure that a structured approach is taken in analyzing data collected through semi-structured

       Evaluation will be carried out through community surveys and field assessments by HCB field and
       programme staff, supported by expert consultants, and involving the participation of beneficiaries
       and other key stakeholders.

 Local research and evaluation capacity
 Provide a list of local research and evaluation institutions and experts who would be suitable local partners
 for the international research team. If there is a preference for a particular institution or team, please
 indicate that preference here with a brief justification*

 There are numerous local experts and robust research capacities at local universities. Preference should
 be given to local experts who have a background in anthropology (expertise in local cultural issues) and in
 working with agencies driving food security policy in Burundi (FAO, WFP, etc.).

 *Note: International teams bidding to undertake the evaluation will be required to work with a local team.
 Either (1) the implementing agency may specify a preferred local team, or (2) the international teams
 each identify their own local team. Local teams may be named on more than one bid.

 Policy Question
 Describe the type of questions that your agency would like to see answered through an evaluation. (max.
 300 words)

The type of questions that HCB seeks to answer through evaluation of this project include:

• What are the localized cultural (micro-culture) dynamics that influence behaviors related to food
                                                  Page 4 of 5                                   3ie grant application
  security (i.e., grain storage, seed saving, group formation, adoption of improved seed varieties and
  cultivation techniques)?

• How significant are issues of social stigma related to working for food in FFW projects such as this?

• What are the key opportunities and constraints related to market-based interventions that seek to
  address the problems of predatory lending and market speculation? What lessons can be learned from
  HCB's market-based community grain bank experience?

• What are the key issues to consider in moving beyond a food aid and food security orientation, and
  toward a focus on increasing the food sovereignty of smallholder farmers in Burundi?

• Which assessment tools and methods are most useful for measuring the impact of food assistance work
  in Burundi and influencing related policy; are innovative methodologies and technologies useful or

• What are the most important questions to answer about food assistance programming from the
  perspective of beneficiaries and other local stakeholders?

• How has this project used information gathered through participatory methods to inform organizational
  learning, project decision- making, and policy advocacy?

 Describe the reason for wanting an evaluation to be carried out including alignment with national and
 international priorities, taking both the program context and wider political context into account. (max.
 300 words)

HCB sees collaboration with 3ie on evaluation of this project as an opportunity to address the pressing
need for more rigorous evaluation of the impact of food security interventions in Burundi and the Great
Lakes Region. Too many projects neglect the critical element of context analysis and repeatedly allocate
scarce aid resources for food assistance interventions that are either not relevant, not effective, and/or
inadequately documented—thus failing to contribute to learning. These decisions are frequently driven by
policy derived from agency and/or government priorities that are either supply-driven or simply not
informed by adequate contextual analysis and assessment of actual vulnerabilities affecting crisis-affected
populations. This project includes several innovative aspects in its approaches to programming and
monitoring and evaluation. The success of these approaches will contribute more substantially to the
active discourse on food assistance policy if it is subjected to rigorous evaluation. HCB values the
opportunity to enhance learning processes through carrying out an evaluation in collaboration with 3ie.

 Use of evaluation findings
 Describe how your organization is planning to engage in the evaluation process and how it will utilize the
 ensuing findings (max 250 words)
 Participatory processes have been built into the design of this project, and support for organizational
 learning processes based on utilizing information derived from M&E activities is a priority. It is expected
 that evaluation findings will be utilized in a number of ways, and integrated into learning processes, future
 program development, and policy advocacy.

 HCB would plan to fully engage with and support the evaluation process, and would be responsive to the
 methods proposed by the selected evaluation team.

 Public dissemination of evaluation findings, along with findings of the projects several in-depth
 assessment activities, will be a priority for HCB.

                                                  Page 5 of 5                                   3ie grant application

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