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Research Report


Amy Sullivan
Copyright Date: Feb. 1, 2008
Pages: 24

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. ii-iii)
  3. (pp. iv-iv)
  4. (pp. v-v)
  5. (pp. 1-2)

    The OFDA drip irrigation program in Zimbabwe began in response to droughtinduced food scarcity in 2003. Its investment in drip kit irrigation in Zimbabwe totalled some $2.5 million from 2003/4 through 2006. DAI was the institutional contractor who dispersed OFDA funds through its on-going Linkages for the Economic Advancement of the Disadvantaged (LEAD) Household Nutrition Garden (HNG) program, which started in 2003. LEAD’s goal was to mitigate the crisis by helping 20,000 families produce vegetables and generate income by introducing micro irrigation drip kits into small intensive household gardens.

    LEAD dedicated OFDA funds to the purchase, distribution and and backstopping...

  6. (pp. 2-2)

    The following project objectives, expected results and outputs are based upon a mid-2005 final report submitted to USAID/Zimbabwe by DAI (2005).

    The LEAD HNG program was designed to address drought-induced food insecurity in selected areas of Zimbabwe by providing poorer households with technology (namely low or no cost micro drip irrigation kits and seed packs with technical support) to produce household garden crops for food and for profit. The planned and reported results are summarized in Table 1. Clearly, on most of the criteria used, the LEAD HNG program was successful.

    DAI/LEAD was responsible for engaging local level partners (mostly...

  7. (pp. 2-6)

    DAI/LEAD was responsible for engaging local level partners (mostly NGOs) to implement selection, training, distribution, and follow-up on project activities on the ground. There were three main criteria for selecting which NGOs would be engaged as implementing partners (IPs). These were:

    1) An interest in working with drip kit technology in communities;

    2) Organizational capacity to deliver the required level of technology and training;

    3) Pre-existing relationships with communities in the target areas.

    It is safe to assume that although each IP met DAI’s criteria, their interests and abilities varied. A number of IPs had technical experience with drip kits...

  8. (pp. 6-7)

    In 2004, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) approached LEAD to help rehabilitate a number of ‘institutional’ gardens under phase II of the OFDA-funded Emergency Nutrition and Drought Recovery Assistance (ENDRA) program. The second objective of ENDRA II was Agricultural Recovery under which fell an initiative for rehabilitation of hospital gardens through drip irrigation. The project aim was promotion of vegetable gardens under drip irrigation at various Zimbabwean hospitals. Based upon its technical capacity, LEAD joined CRS in this effort and took on management of the technical agricultural aspects of the project.

    Participating hospitals had land holdings, some of which had previously...

  9. (pp. 7-8)

    CRS was responsible for selecting which churches would participate in the project. Church-related hospitals, rather than public facilities, were chosen because LEAD staff saw them as having a more enduring presence in rural areas and as key rural health providers. According to LEAD staff, at least part of the rationale for distributing drip kits to hospitals was that they represented a concentration of vulnerable people who could benefit from the technology. The initial aim was twofold: 1) raise enough vegetables to supply the hospital kitchens, and 2) generate surplus produce for sale, the proceeds of which would be used to...

  10. (pp. 8-11)

    Project implementation began in 2003 as planned by USAID and DAI/LEAD. However, less than two years later there was significant staff turnover and reduction in the USAID mission in Zimbabwe. There was a perceived loss of momentum within the project after the changes at the Mission. According to former DAI staff, the incoming team at the mission did not make LEAD project activities their priority and critical decisions and actions that could have kept the project running as planned were sometimes delayed.

    Former DAI staff indicated that a lack of project management support from USAID for the OFDA project affected...

  11. (pp. 12-14)

    The following conclusions and associated recommendations summarize the major findings of this research.

    1) Changes at the local USAID mission (due to the political situation in Zimbabwe) created a challenging environment within which to follow through with project implementation.

    As a component of an on-going LEAD project, OFDA-funded drip kits could have been an entry point for moving rural populations from relief to recovery. However, changes in USAID’s role in Zimbabwe meant that recovery was no longer within the mandate of the mission. Therefore, drip kit distribution was purely a relief effort while the technology may have been better suited...

  12. (pp. 15-15)