LIFT Project Assessment of USAID/PEPFARs Economic Strengthening Programs in Ethiopia

  • Date Posted: April 20, 2011
  • Authors: Lisa Parrott, Ben Fowler, Jim Dempsey, Jill Thompson, Scott Arche, Benjamin Rinehart
  • Organizations: FHI 360
  • Document Types: Assessment
  • Donor Type: US Agency for International Development

In August and September 2010, on request from the USAID/PEPFAR Ethiopia office, the LIFT Project, as Associate Award under the FIELD-Support LWA, conducted an assessment of economic strengthening (ES) activities within the office’s HIV/AIDS portfolio. This report contains the findings of this assessment, together with recommendations for USAID/PEPFAR Ethiopia to support program activities.

The goal of this assessment was to help mitigate the impacts of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia by improving the quality and impact of ES interventions. The assessment team examined the current state of ES programming in Ethiopia, identified challenges or constraints facing USAID/PEPFAR Ethiopia and its partners, and identified opportunities to improve ES programming based on input from partners and global learning of effective ES practice.

The recommendations in this report are intended to help USAID/PEPFAR and its partners overcome key operating challenges. For instance, the assessment found that programs lacked standards, frameworks, and guidelines for ES activities, which were often considered of secondary importance to other HIV/AIDS interventions. ES activities were not market-driven or sustainable, nor founded on an understanding of household economies and vulnerability. The return on investment was impossible to calculate because there was little information about budgets allocated to ES programs and no consistent measure of impact at the household level.

In response, in this report, LIFT presents three sets of recommendations: (1) strategic guidance to help PEPFAR manage and improve its ES portfolio; (2) standards of practice that all ES programs should follow; and (3) program-specific recommendations for partners and their USAID program managers. These are discussed in further detail in the attached PDF.