Final Performance Evaluation for the Feed the Future Bangladesh Aquaculture and Nutrition Activity
Excerpts from the Findings and Conclusions:
Market linkages. The Aquaculture Activity improved market linkages but lacked the means to effectively measure the associated changes. This information would likely have helped it to adapt its approach over time. It is unclear how the Aquaculture Activity used its extensive MEL data to support activity adaptation. Farmers benefited from the improved capacity of dealers and retailers (e.g., One Stop Service Centers [OSSCs], Women Micro Franchisees [WMFs], Women Business Centers [WBCs], and others) to give appropriate and timely advice. The Aquaculture Activity’s engagement of private-sector actors was appropriate, and grantees’ costshare portion (43.5 percent, on average) was good in the Bangladesh context, where private-sector firms expect donor funding for “projects.” In retrospect, more effort was needed to acclimatize firms to the market systems approach, shift them away from this expectation, and better leverage donor funding. Nutrition. The Aquaculture Activity met its targets for adopting good household nutrition practices, small fish consumption and a diversified diet: more than 90 percent of households reported started eating mola with the head; 75 percent of women reported they consumed a diversified diet and more than 18 percent of households reported. Activity contributions included grantee efforts to increase production of carp-mola polyculture and pond dike vegetable cropping, nutrition education, and development and promotion of RTC and RTE fish products.
Enabling environment. The Aquaculture Activity’s contributions to the enabling environment were limited. The Aquaculture Activity missed opportunities to engage with the GOB and to address important policy and regulatory issues. Attention to transport and cold chain investment—both critical barriers—were small, especially compared to the Aquaculture Activity’s investments in inputs. Initiatives addressing inclusion of women and youth in aquaculture merited more attention.
Conclusion: Performance indicators and evaluation findings confirm that the Aquaculture Activity has achieved many of its targets. Aquaculture productivity has increased because farmers are now using BMP and enjoy greater access to high-quality seed, fry, and fingerlings. Farmers have access to highquality feed, but most cannot afford it. The Activity has strengthened linkages in the market system for seed, fry and fingerlings, information, AMP and technology, and feed (to a lesser extent) on the input side. The Activity’s efforts in nutrition-sensitive aquaculture have contributed to improved nutrition and aquaculture practices. It has also strengthened the capacity of some actors and linkages among them. The Activity’s attempts to assess change in the market system have been ineffective, limiting the its ability to adapt its approach during the project cycle.