- This is the final evaluation report of the World Food Programme’s (WFP) United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (“McGovern-Dole”) Programme’s Support in Rwanda (2016-2021).1, 2 This activity evaluation covers Phase I of the programme from January 2016 to March 2021 and all targeted districts. The evaluation was commissioned by WFP Rwanda.
PURPOSE, OBJECTIVES, INTENDED AUDIENCE, AND CONTEXT
The evaluation’s objectives are accountability and learning. It examines the project’s impact and identifies lessons for future programming, including the baseline evaluation and design of Phase II (2021-2025). The key evaluation questions are:
1) Have literacy rates of school-age children improved over the duration of the programme?
2) Has the use of health and dietary practices increased?
3) What is the level of community involvement and participation in decision-making in school governance mechanisms? and 4) What are the key institutions and governance structures required to effectively deliver, implement, and sustain school meal interventions?
The evaluation applies OECD-DAC assessment criteria and reports history and end-of-project status of USDA-required indicators.
The primary users of the evaluation are WFP Rwanda and its partners, World Vision, Gardens for Health International, and Rwanda Biomedical Centre, to understand programme performance and obtain insights to inform future design; the Rwanda Ministry of Education (MINEDUC), Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), and district governments, to understand programme performance and alignment with government priorities; USDA, to assess programme performance, findings and lessons to inform other McGovern-Dole programmes; and WFP Regional Bureau Nairobi, WFP headquarters, WFP Office of Evaluation, and the WFP Executive Board, for wider organizational learning and accountability.
Rwanda is a small, densely populated country with a growing economy (though COVID-19 generated some economic setbacks) and a vision to become an upper-income country by 2050. It has made significant gains in reducing poverty but continues to experience high levels of food insecurity, malnourishment, and stunting, especially in rural areas. Nearly all children are enrolled in primary school; girls have a slightly higher enrolment rate than boys (98.0 percent and 97.3 percent, respectively) 3 and also a higher primary completion rate (101.8 percent and 89.0, respectively). 4 The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in school closures in March 2020; schools re-opened in November 2020 for grades 4-6, and in mid-late February 2021 for all grades.