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USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) wanted to know if the food assistance programs they funded were producing sustained change. To answer the question FFP commissioned the Sustainability and Exit Strategies Study, a series of ex-post evaluations in four countries (Bolivia, Honduras, India, and Kenya).
Dr. Beatrice Rogers and Dr. Jennifer Coates of Tufts University presented the findings and recommendations that emerged from this extensive investigation on July 23, 2015 to a joint gathering of the USAID Evaluation Interest Group (IEG) and the Local Systems (LS) Group.
This multi-year, multi-country ex-post study, undertaken by Tufts University through the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project used quantitative and qualitative methods over the course of three years to explore the effectiveness of FFP development food assistance projects' sustainability plans and exit strategies in Bolivia, Honduras, India, and Kenya. The study used activities' baseline and endline reports, qualitative data collected in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and quantitative survey data in 2011 that used the same survey instruments as endline surveys and coincided with the same season of endline data collection.
Investigators selected programs according to specific criteria, based on: having achieved key food security and nutrition outcomes; having implemented exit strategies; and with a close-out that coincided with the study time-frame.
The presentation highlighted lessons and promising practices that incorporate a strategy for withdrawing assistance that increases the potential for sustainability of project benefits.