short paper on applying social impact evaluation methodologies

In Ethiopia, where over 80% of the population relies on agriculture, the country faces critical challenges due to severe droughts and the pressures of climate change. These challenges have heightened the need for enhanced agricultural productivity to ensure food security. The NGO you are advising is focused on aiding small farmers in Ethiopia by improving farming practices through educational programs. A significant aspect of this initiative involves the redesign of the “soil quality template,” a vital tool provided by the Ministry of Agriculture to assist farmers in effectively using soil additives and fertilizers.

Objective of the Assignment
The assignment revolves around providing a comprehensive evaluation strategy for a newly redesigned soil quality template that has been pilot-tested and received positively by local farmers. The NGO aims to replace the old template with this new, more user-friendly version on a national scale. However, to influence government policy and promote widespread adoption of this template, a detailed and persuasive evaluation plan is necessary.

Assignment Requirements
To support the NGO’s goal, you are tasked with crafting a proposal that outlines an appropriate evaluation strategy to assess the effectiveness of the new template. Your proposal should be concise, not exceeding three pages, and should include:

+ Types of Studies: Identification of study designs that can reliably demonstrate the causal impact of the new template on agricultural productivity and farmer behavior.

+ Design Factors: Considerations for sample sizes, endpoints, timing, and data collection tools necessary for a robust study.

+ Confounding Factors: Analysis of potential external variables that could influence the study outcomes and methods to control for these factors.

+ Validity Concerns: Discussion on maintaining internal and external validity in the study.

+ Methodological Challenges: Identification of potential hurdles in executing the evaluation and strategies to overcome them.

+ Cost and Logistics: An overview of the financial, logistical, and ethical considerations involved in conducting the study.

+ Stakeholder Dynamics: Insight into the power dynamics between the stakeholders, including farmers, the NGO, and the Ministry, which could impact the study and its implementation.

+ Organizational Capabilities: Assessment of the NGO’s capacity to carry out the proposed evaluation.