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Preparation of Programme Document for SARDP III Extension

Since 1997, the Sida-Amhara Rural Development Programme has been operating in Amhara National Regional State. Reported to be one of the worst in the country, the poverty in Amhara Region contributes nearly a quarter to national poverty: of the 127 rural woredas, 64 are found to be chronically food insecure, and another 25 woredas are described as transitory food insecure. In 30 woredas in East Gojjam and South Wollo zones, the programme has focused on reducing poverty under the four components agriculture and natural resource management, infrastructure and social service development, economic diversification and decentralization, which are mainstreamed with the crosscutting issues of population, gender, environment and HIV/AIDS.

SARDP’s major achievements are: strengthening the land administration and planning system, promoting agricultural technologies to raise agricultural production and productivity, watershed management, diversification of income, rural infrastructure expansion, strengthening of social services and successfully promoting the decentralization through capacity building.

Production and productivity of smallholders has improved as a result and many rural dwellers now have access to social services, such as primary health and education, and there are potable water supplies. Opportunities for new services and markets have evolved with programme support to rural and village level roads. The woredas and local communities have developed their capacity to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate their own initiatives. The community development fund (CDF), which is supported by SARDP, has successfully deepened the decentralization process, by passing financial decision-making to communities. The guiding principles of the programme are participation, poverty focus, environmental care, gender equality, differentiation and integration.

By 2008, SARDP was in its third phase. Following the decision of Sida to prolong SARDP III for a two year period, a PD was to be prepared so that the donor can justify and approve funding for the prolongation. The SARDP PCU was responsible for the preparation of this document. To assist the PCU with this important and urgent task, it was decided to call in a planning consultant.

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