Adapting Agribusiness Sector Development Strategy Amidst Financial Crisis in Lebanon
Since the development of Lebanon Agriculture and Rural Empowerment (ARE) Activity proposal in March 2020, Lebanon endured several devastating events, namely, an economic and financial crisis, the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, and the August 4th Beirut port explosion. These events caused the already crashing economy to plummet, exerting further pressure on the agribusiness sector, a major stakeholder for the activity. Accordingly, ARE held a series of collaboration, learning, and adapting (CLA) sessions to discuss recent country developments and in order to adapt both the activity’s technical approach to implementation as well as the activity results framework to better reflect and react the diverse set of challenges facing Lebanon and in response, to more efficiently and effectively achieve our intended results. We used our list of critical risks and assumptions as the base of our decision-making process, followed by a thorough analysis of context indicators set forth in the monitoring, evaluation, and learning plan. Then we used this information as evidence to prove the major change in context and to make a decision on adapting our results framework to suit the fluid context. We collaborated with USAID and the team and held workshops to ensure that the adapted framework, and resulting technical approach, could be captured across all of ARE’s current and future interventions. We then revised our indicators and indicator targets to make them more realistic and in line with the actual context of the country's dire economic situation. Finally, we reflected this adaptation through adjustment in our actual technical programming. This CLA approach helped us develop a more relevant results framework with a set of indicators and targets that are more realistic, achievable and reflective of the new country context. This adaptation ensured ownership of the activity strategy among the ARE team as well as our colleagues at USAID, and, most importantly, ensured more realistic and achievable results.
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