KGA Independent Review

June 13, 2011
An AusAID hired short term consultant Ms Karen Hill had undertaken an independent review of the Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) Strengthening Food Security for Rural Livelihoods in Solomon Islands Program. The purpose of the consultancy was to revise the KGA Strengthening Food Security for Rural Livelihoods in Solomon Islands Program so that KGA is a more effective and sustainable organisation.

In undertaking the independent review, the Consultant worked closely with the KGA management team to review the program design and implementation in line with the objectives of the consultancy. Various documents were used to guide the review process, which include the Program Design Document and other relevant reports including the KGA Corporate Plan and Constitution.

In addition, current KGA management systems and processes (finance, activity monitoring, activity planning etc) were reviewed to assess the practical impacts of a change in the project design. A range of stakeholders were interviewed as part of the process, including: representatives from AusAID; KGA management; Terracircle; KGA Board members; Ministry of Agriculture, SINPA and RAMSI (URS).

Design Review

The review was undertaken using a participatory workshop approach, engaging all program management staff in the process. The project design was reviewed in detail down to activity level. This process defined the focus of the design and ensured the logic of the design through its goal, purpose, objectives, outputs, outcomes, activities, inputs and budgets. Throughout the process, the team also discussed and agreed certain parameters, targets, management arrangements, roles and responsibilities and internal capacity development requirements to facilitate quality implementation. Required resources, success factors and measurable outcomes were also identified and agreed. In summary, the main outcomes from the review process include:

The KGA program components (8) were confirmed: Partner Capacity Building and Networking; Food Crops and Organic Farming; Small Livestock; Marketing and Value Adding; Women and Nutritional Health; Youth in Agriculture and Urban Agriculture; Communication and Information Services; and Program Management. These comprise the organizational program framework, within which the AusAID funded program is contained.

The current Program objectives were ratified, however the outputs have been adjusted to provide a more targeted focus.

KGA will develop a deeper engagement with its key partners – up to one key partner per province will be supported to become sustainable organisations by the end of program. This will include increased support by PSOs in the field.

KGA will develop an exit strategy for key partner support, and then bring on new partners as appropriate. At the end of 3 years there will be 5 key partners, 5 current partners and up to 5 new partners in the program.

KGA will focus on high level technical, research and advisory services in order to build the food security evidence base in the Solomon Islands, as well as developing partner capacity to provide outreach services in the field.

KGA will increase its focus on internal staff capacity development, developing a resourced and targeted capacity development plan for implementation.

KGA will build their current activity management system into a M&E system to monitor outcomes and impacts and hence more clearly demonstrate the benefits of KGA programs.

The review commenced on Monday 6th June and was concluded on Thursday 9th June 2011, with a brief presentation attended by officials and representatives from AusAID, KGA Board  and  other stakeholders.

Ms Karen Hill