Organisational review of Vi Agroforestry
Vi Agroforestry (Vi-skogen) is a Swedish development cooperation organisation working with poverty reduction and improvement of the environment through tree planting with smallholder farming families and farmers’ organisations in the Lake Victoria basin in East Africa. Vi Agroforestry’s work is composed of sustainable agriculture and agroforestry – growing trees alongside crops and livestock. This approach provides increased access to food, access to sustainable energy sources and more income, among other things. Sustainable agriculture also contributes to the mitigation of the impact of climate change and protection against its negative effects. Vi Agroforestry works in four countries: in Kenya in the Kitale and Kisumu regions, in Uganda around Masaka and Kampala, in Tanzania in the Mara and Kagera regions (and Mwanza up to 2016), and in Rwanda around Kigali. Since its inception 1983, the organisation has contributed to the planting over 100 million trees and thus to the improved livelihoods of 1,8 million people.
Vi Agroforestry has undergone significant change in recent years. The organisation has gone from a self-implementing and more technical organisation to being a development actor that works with organisational development of local partner organisations. The shift in strategic focus has entailed a significant decrease of primarily technical staff. The organisation is growing and has attracted new funding agreements; a number of new projects have also been developed.
Vi Agroforestry has adopted a new global strategy that will guide the organisation’s work during the period 2017-2021. The strategy entails a stronger focus on Vi Agroforestry’s core business areas, including gender equality. The strategic goal for the strategy period is: Sustainably improved livelihoods for smallholder farmer families in Sub-Saharan Africa through increased climate change resilience, food security, higher incomes, and greater equality between women and men.
1. Increase Vi Agroforestry’s organisational capacity to become the go-to expert and organisation to fund agroforestry and climate change development cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa.
2. Democratic and sustainable practices incorporated in farmers’ organisations, and organisations efficiently deliver services to their members and to the future generation of farmers.
3. Increased agricultural productivity and income for smallholder farmers through sustainable agricultural production (with environmental, economic and social benefits), with increased access to inputs, markets and value addition.
4. Greater participation of women and young people in leadership and decision-making at both household and partner organisation level.
Vi Agroforestry is currently supporting 15 projects and one programme, funded by 12 different donors. Some projects are linked up, whilst others are not. Each project has its own intervention logic.
The largest intervention is the regional Lake Victoria Farmer Organisations’ Agroforestry Programme (FOA) implemented since 2012 and now in its final year. Sida CIVSAM has financed the Programme.
FOA is linked to a regional advisory group, to which four country consortia are connected. These consortia consist of partner organisations in the respective countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda. The regional approach is intended to ensure synergies and alliances between local organisations. The programme has supported 11 organisations in Tanzania, 10 in Kenya, 8 in Uganda and 10 in Rwanda, implementing over 50 projects in total.
The purpose of the review is to guide Vi Agroforestry’s planning to ensure that the development of the projects/programmes contributes to the achievement of the goals set out in the new strategy. The intended users of the evaluation are Vi Agroforestry staff and management as well as partner organisations. The study shall capture lessons learnt from the 2014-2016 project/programme period and provide recommendations for the coming programme period 2018-2021. The review focus is formative and the analysis will be based on current partnerships and project/programme implementation as well as relevant steering documents.