Indonesia: Participatory Development of Agricultural Technology Project
sector: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development | country: Indonesia
The project completion report (PCR) listed 11 lessons, though to some extent, these constituted recommendations. All have been largely covered in the preceding reviews of the Project, and all are reasonable. The Independent Evaluation Department (IED) has drawn the following main lessons.
(a) In the design of a project covering research, testing, demonstration, and farmer adoption,
the responsibilities of research-based agencies and extension services must be made clear. Realistic targets must be detailed in the project design as to adoption by farmers directly as a result of project intervention and wider-scale adoption supported by the extension services, drawing on the demonstration activities of the research agencies.
(b) Applied research should take realistic account of the environment within which technology packages will be applied. There is little point in expending effort on packages requiring levels of extension, infrastructure, financial, and marketing services that are not generally found. In this same context, ADB must be clearer in directing its support and in distinguishing between research and extension activities; the proposal made at the Management Review Meeting that the Project should take a phased approach might have merited more favorable consideration.
(c) The interface between research, testing, demonstration, and the extension services must
be built into project design. Problems encountered in the Project might have been averted if a more phased approach had been adopted, as suggested at the Management Review Meeting.
At a more general level, the Project had four components, 12 subcomponents, and 76 performance targets (effectively activities). Several targets were poorly differentiated, and the Project was highly prescriptive, leaving little flexibility during implementation. Perhaps guidelines would have helped in designing subprojects, in which there is adequate detail to ensure that goals and outcomes are met without excessive prescription.
Moreover, although there were positive indications that the Project carried out an adequate monitoring and evaluation system, its design, implementation, and utilization was not well described. The PCR should have provided for better coverage of this.