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Evaluation of FAO’s Contribution to Bhutan

26/09/2018

Bhutan is a lower middle-income country whose economy is aid-dependent, import-driven and vulnerable to shocks. The heavy reliance on export of hydroelectricity does not create broad-based employment. Bhutan’s narrow economic base and importance of the Renewable Natural Resources (RNR) put FAO in a unique position of contributing to the country’s development through strengthening its key economic sector. This evaluation assessed FAO’s contributions towards achieving the national development goals set out in Bhutan’s 11th Five Year Plan, which aims for “Self-reliance and Inclusive Green Socio-Economic Development”. The evaluation found that the viable RNR sector where young people with entrepreneurial skills generate cash income could be the foundation for the higher national development philosophy of inclusive growth. The evaluation recommends that the future FAO programme use income growth and employment generation in rural areas as an entry point for interventions. For this, FAO projects can use income and employment, instead of production, as indicators for measuring the impact. This, in turn, would help FAO to address more effectively the country’s emerging issues of youth unemployment and rural to urban migration through the vitalization of the RNR sector. The evaluation also identified the partnership opportunities as well as the project ideas to be considered during the next country programming cycle, 2019-2023.

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