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Evaluation of the Rockefeller Foundation’s African Agriculture Resilience Grant Initiative

Itad conducted an evaluation of the Rockefeller Foundation's African Agriculture Resilience Grant Initiative.


The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to help poor and vulnerable people benefit from fairer economic growth, and increased resilience whereby people, communities and systems survive, adapt, and grow in the face of changes, even catastrophic incidents.

This grant portfolio evaluation covered two interrelated bodies of work: the African Agriculture Resilience (AAR) component of the larger Climate Change Resilience Initiative, and the Land-based Carbon Markets for Poverty Reduction (CPR) initiative. Rockefeller’s AAR was approved in 2006 and between 2007 and 2011 a total of $15m was disbursed to set of approximately 20 African grantee organisations. The CPR was approved in 2008 and allocated almost $12m to 5-8 grantee organisations.

Our approach

Given their complementary nature the Rockefeller Foundation wished to learn from the experience of implementing the two components, with the possible intention of merging the 2 initiatives under one future initiative around Climate Smart Rural Development (CSRD). The essence of the evaluation was to establish the feasibility and strategy for this as well as to assess and document the key results and lessons to have emerged from Rockefeller’s funding of AAR and CPR.  We used a mixed methods approach starting with a detailed desk-based analytical review of the portfolio followed by field visits to selected grants in 7 countries.

The grant initiative evaluation formed the basis of an our on-going relationship with the Rockefeller Foundation where we have provided Rockefeller with a broad range of strategic advisory services in the fields of resilience and climate change adaptation covering M&E systems, theory of change, and indicator frameworks.


Image © Coffee cherry in Bugesera district. Photo Credit: Graham Holliday