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Evaluation Report: USAID/Malawi New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support Activity Ex-Post Performance Evaluation

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Mission in Malawi requested Banyan Global, through the Learn to Perform Activity, to conduct an ex-post evaluation of the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support Activity (NAPAS). NAPAS was a policy-oriented, regional intervention under Feed the Future with the goal of creating an enabling agriculture policy environment for investment, production, and growth by providing technical, research, and capacity building support for policy formulation and implementation to the government to sustainably achieve high-level commitments to policy reform provided in the New Alliance Country Cooperation Framework. The evaluation of NAPAS aimed to generate evidence about the sustainability of NAPAS-supported policy interventions in Malawi three years after the conclusion of the project. USAID and Learn to Perform developed key evaluation questions to assess the sustainability of NAPAS results in capacity building for policy analysis and formulation, continued linkages and capacities in the agriculture policy sector, and the level of commitment of the Government of Malawi (GoM) to implement reforms conducive to an enabling policy environment for increased investment and production. Learn to Perform collected data through key informant interviews and focus groups with GoM, civil society, the private sector, and media, and conducted a policy process mapping exercise of NAPAS-supported reforms by tracing activities since the end of the activity.

The evaluation yielded three key insights:

  • Sustained engagement between stakeholders has decreased due to the lack of a sustainability strategy within NAPAS. Learn to Perform recommends USAID to aid in the improvement of private sector engagement in policy reform and to promote organizational sustainability with stakeholder associations and networks so that stakeholders will continue to collaborate outside of donor funded activities.
  • To improve upon the challenges that were found during the evaluation in policy formulation and implementation, the government of Malawi should support the Ministry of Agriculture to build its capacity to more effectively engage with stakeholders on policy issues, including the development of an engagement strategy to
  • Since the end of NAPAS, there has been a decrease in policy consultation processes. Learn to Perform recommends providing capacity strengthening on policy engagement, such as ongoing coaching and support to the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders, ultimately leading to better policy formation and improved stakeholder coordination.

The findings surfaced essential lessons and recommendations for current and future USAID/Malawi and Feed the Future policy and activities, as well as for government actors and other stakeholders.

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