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Fraym Partners with DT Global to Evaluate Program Impact in Conflict-Prone Areas

October 31, 2019

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Evaluating programs in areas where data cannot be easily collected is a challenge for many development organizations. Fraym data can help fill these gaps by providing customized, hyper-local insights on program areas, even in hard-to-access places, such as remote locations or areas with security challenges.

In 2014 USAID began the Livestock for Growth (L4G) program to assist Mali’s livestock owners. Over the next five years, DT Global worked with Malian partners to raise livestock productivity, provide veterinary training and services, improve water sources, and establish sustainable Farmer Field Schools (FFS) in rural communities where conflict has become a growing risk in recent years. Fraym partnered with DT Global to provide insights into how livestock-owning households have changed over the course of the L4G program. Leveraging machine learning techniques to weave together household survey microdata, remotely sensed data, and satellite imagery, Fraym’s hyper-local analysis of the L4G program helped DT Global understand program outcomes and can inform decisions about future programming and resource allocation.

Fraym divided this analysis into three phases: a high level before and after look at livestock-owning households, an analysis of livestock health and access to services, and an analysis of conflict in relation to L4G program areas.

Phase I: Before and after analysis of livestock-owning households

Fraym analyzed how indicators related to water and sanitation, education attainment and literacy, vulnerability to shocks, and food security changed over time in Mali generally and program areas.

Fraym found that target program areas in general experienced improvements in access to safer and more reliable water sources. For example, areas near a borehole in the Dounde community (pictured below), which had been improved by the L4G program (i.e. equipped with solar-powered pumps, water storage tanks, animal drinking troughs and water spigots for people), saw a decrease in the percentage of livestock-owning households that rely on unimproved water sources. This borehole and several other improved boreholes provide livestock-owners and near-by residents a cleaner and safer alternative to the water they relied upon before from streams, rivers, and unprotected wells.

Phase II: Access to animal health services

Livestock-owning households also saw improvement in access to animal health services through DT Global’s innovative partnership and training programs. Three professional vets were partnered with 76 community health workers to deliver animal health services to livestock-owning households in the Mopti region. The proportion of livestock-owning households that used these L4G trained private veterinarians for vaccination and de-worming services in target program areas increased from 48% in 2014 to more than 60% in 2017, just three years into the project. In Bankass cercle (pictured here), 83% of livestock households vaccinated animals in 2017, more than 10% higher than the average across other target program areas.

“Fraym’s post L4G program geospatial analysis demonstrates a clear and great ability to provide unique insights which could have had a positive effect on L4G program management and implementation.

For example, overlaying the L4G program-sponsored Farmer Field School (FFS) sites with animal vaccination rates gives a clear geographic representation of FFS sites have been the most effective in encouraging and facilitating livestock-owning households to bring their cattle, sheep and goats to the sites for vaccination services. This could be used to direct L4G field staff to priority locations.”

– Thomas Herlehy, Ph.D., Senior Program Manager, DT Global

Phase III: Conflict in relation to program areas

Fraym’s conflict analysis in relation to L4G’s key outcomes reveals a more nuanced understanding of how participant communities changed in the context of rising conflicts. Using data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), Fraym overlaid conflict events since October 2014 against animal health indicators in program areas, such as Koro cercle (pictured here). The L4G team was able to maintain a high level of engagement with local livestock-owning households in Koro cercle despite conflict, and the percentage of livestock-owning households that vaccinated some livestock animals almost doubled from 43% in 2013 to 73% in 2017.

Fraym’s analysis of the L4G program testifies to our powerful evaluation capabilities, especially in areas that are difficult to access because of violence or other barriers. This analysis incorporated innovative data collection and analysis methods to monitor participant communities and household outcomes in challenging environments. Leveraging existing, regularly updated conflict and open-source data helped put the security situation around L4G program sites in perspective and helps to explain why some locations had positive socio-economic development despite upward trends in inter-community conflict and violence. In Mali and elsewhere, geospatial data can now put robust evaluation tools within reach of development organizations in environments where it was previously very difficult or even unattainable.

Click this link to see more details about USAID’s L4G program implemented by DT Global in Mali.

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