Evaluation at FAO

Six actions FAO LEAP stakeholders should take to keep the partnership shining

07/09/2022

The FAO Office of Evaluation has released the report of a recent project evaluation of the FAO Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership. The analysis covers the first three phases of the project (2012-2021) and presents some concrete suggestions and findings to guide the work of FAO LEAP members in the upcoming years. The report highlights the key role the multi-stakeholder partnership plays within the international livestock community and beyond, and addresses four main evaluation questions concerning relevance, effectiveness, management, and sustainability of the project.

Here are six actions the FAO LEAP Steering Committee should take to reinforce the partnership in the future:

  1. Focus on long-term impacts

    Over the past ten years, the FAO LEAP Partnership has achieved many concrete results. However, according to the report, the lack of an explicit Theory of Change resulted in a limited focus on enduring outcomes and long-term impacts. Thus, the analysis recommends FAO LEAP stakeholders to strengthen the project’s Theory of Change to reflect the complexity of learning and innovation causal paths. According to the evaluation, this would include closing the learning cycle, clarifying the mechanisms that influence changes in policies and practices, and incorporating a gender perspective in the project. FAO LEAP could be also an effective vehicle to address gender equality in the livestock sector by actively promoting a gender analysis in policies and practices.

  2. Define clear rules and procedures

    The second recommendation focuses on management and procedures. According to the evaluation, the FAO LEAP Partnership should define and approve a clear and up-to-date set of rules and procedures to strengthen its governance mechanisms. The analysis also suggests considering recruiting additional experts to support the FAO LEAP Secretariat with technical and substantive work, and inviting representatives of other FAO divisions as members of the LEAP Steering Committee to create synergies and find new opportunities of collaboration.

  3. Identify concrete synergies

    Strengthening cooperation is key to achieve bigger results. This is why FAO LEAP partners should cooperate with similar multi-stakeholder groups within FAO and identify concrete synergies. The project evaluation suggests keeping FAO LEAP and the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock actively engaged in the respective initiatives. According to the report, the two livestock multi-stakeholder partnerships should work closely together to align visions, better define roles and responsibilities, and find common solutions to global emerging problems related to the livestock sector.

  4. Ensure sustainability

    The FAO LEAP Partnership allows the participation of different stakeholder groups and the engagement of leading experts in the international scientific community. However, budget uncertainty and delays have compromised the effectiveness of the project in more than one occasion. The FAO evaluation recommends to expand the donor base of the project, implementing joint activities with other FAO initiatives, establishing a not-earmarked trust fund, and reinforcing the role of the LEAP Steering Committee. Improving long-term planning and strengthening the resource mobilization strategy should definitively enhance the project’s sustainability in the future.

  5. Think globally, act locally

    FAO LEAP partners come not only from various sectors along the livestock supply chains but also from different parts of the world. Yet, more should be done to engage with livestock stakeholders and communities at the national and regional levels. To improve its dissemination strategy, the multi-stakeholder partnership can start producing materials and guidelines in different languages, organize capacity building activities and regional workshops, involve FAO regional and country offices in targeted dissemination activities, and offer practical tools to help partners mobilize climate funds.

  6. Communicate

The FAO LEAP Partnership currently misses a concrete outreach strategy to support the promotion and dissemination of its outcomes with clear objectives. Designing a specific strategy will help amplify the impact of the partnership and reach a wider range of livestock and environmental stakeholders around the world. This recommendation also includes the establishment of task forces to develop new business case studies and database of experts that could help practitioners to use the guidelines in specific contexts.

Taking these six steps would improve the partnership’s goals and strengthen consensus on environmental performances of the livestock sector at the global level.

More on this topic

The Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership

Evaluation of the project "Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership"