Evaluation of the “More and Better” Network
About the publication
- Published: December 2015
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Asbjørn Eidhammer
- Commissioned by: Utviklingsfondet
- Theme: Primary industry (agriculture fishing forestry)
- Pages: 30
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Development Fund/Utviklingsfondet
- Local partner: More and Better Network
- Project number: QZA-11/0895-26
More and Better (MaB) was established in 2003 as a global campaign for more and better support to food, agriculture and rural development. The network has 127 members and embraces social movements and non-governmental organizations in the fight to eradicate hunger and poverty.
The Development Fund is one of the founding organizations of MaB, and has supported the network and the operation of the secretariat since 2004. The support to MaB is part of DF’s policy and advocacy work, which overall goals are to strengthen civil society networks and to influence international policies and development assistance in favour of small-scale farmers and sustainable agriculture.
The main purpose of the evaluation was to assess the contribution and relevance of MaB to the Development Fund’s policy and advocacy goals related to international policies and actions, and development assistance. The evaluation should also assess the relevance of MaB for DF’s programme work, identify the main achievements of MaB and assess the functioning of the network. Finally, the evaluation should present recommendations for the strengthening of MaB and its work, and for the future collaboration between DF and MaB.
The consultant applied a mixed methodology of desk review, interviews and a brief survey. Both representatives of MaB member organisation, DF staff and officials of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were interviewed. A brief survey was conducted among MaB member organisations.
The evaluation shows that the More and Better Network (MaB) has influenced the agenda and the cooperation between civil society actors, which have lobbied governments. In this way, the network has contributed to a development in line with the network’s purpose.
In particular, the evaluation highlights MaB capacity to influence the Rio+20 processes, where MaB as the only civil society network managed to get sustainable agriculture on the agenda and reflected in the final document.
The network has also contributed to strengthening farmers’ organisations, particularly in parts of Africa, through support for meetings and capacity building. The member organisations value the network as a space to discuss and agree in order to be able to influence the wider agendas and arenas.
The evaluation shows a weak financial basis of the network, which depends heavily on one donor; the Development Fund. With the exception of the MaB international coordinator, with is DF staff, the ownership in other parts of the organisation is weak. There is also a gap of views and approaches between DF and MaB in some areas.
- The MaB network plays a role within the global efforts to support improved agriculture development and food policies that no other organisation or body can replace, and should therefor be supported to continue.
- The network should not expand activities, but concentrate on bringing farmers and CSO organisations together to create the basis of lobbying at the global and regional level.
- MaB should urgently start a discussion on how to broaden the financial base of the network, e.g. resourceful member organisations contribute financially to the network.
- DF should consider how MaB if and in what way MaB contributes to DF’s work in the future, and assess how much resources the organisation should invest in the network. DF should also engage with some of the resourceful members of the network in a discussion of co-funding of the network.
DF’s comment and use of the evaluation
DF appreciates the findings of the evaluation. DF has recommended MaB to start identifying a broader base of funding, and has prepared a 3 years plan for gradual reduction of support.
DF’s contribution to the network after the 3 year period will depend on other member organisations financial contribution to the network.
Other DF staff will also engage more in the network and discussions with other member organisations to assess the collaboration in the future and see how the network can be better anchored and aligned with DF’s policy work.
MaB has already started the process of broadening its financial support and to follow-up other recommendations.