Evaluation of the FUTURES Project: Midline Report

Evaluation of the FUTURES Project: Midline Report
Citation: Mitiku, F., Millar, L., Bekele, A., Barden-O’Fallon, J. (2023). Evaluation of the FUTURES Project: Midline Report. Chapel Hill, NC, USA: Data for Impact
Abstract: The FUTURES—My Forest, My Livelihood, My Family project (FUTURES) serves communities in the Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve (YCFBR), located in Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. The three-year project was launched in April 2021 to address health, environment, and livelihood concerns of the YCFBR region. The project is implemented by CARE Ethiopia and its three local partners, Oromia Development Association (ODA), Environment and Coffee Forest Forum (ECFF), and Kulich Youth Reproductive Health and Development Organization (KYRHDO). FUTURES project activities are designed to target the economy, agriculture, and reproductive health (RH) sectors simultaneously, while working across household, community, and institutional levels, with a focus on women and youth. Project activities include health provider training and community education to reduce stigma to accessing RH services, entrepreneurship training and savings and loan programs for women and youth, diversified livelihood schemes, improved and climate smart agricultural interventions, and the formation and strengthening of multisectoral steering committees and mechanisms for knowledge sharing across sectors.

The FUTURES project evaluation, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and led by Data for Impact (D4I), aims to understand the impact of the FUTURES project on key health, agricultural, and livelihood and conservation behavioral outcomes, and to contribute to knowledge about the implementation of cross-sectoral programs, including monitoring, evaluation, and learning of such programs. A mixed-methods baseline evaluation was conducted November–December 2021. The baseline evaluation showed fairly high levels of family planning (FP) utilization, livelihood opportunities for women and youth, and improved forest conservation practices. Exceptions were the percentage of women actively using financial services; participation in participatory forest management programs; and the application of various improved crop production practices, technologies, and inputs. Additionally, a low percentage of FP providers had received recent youth-friendly health services training. The full baseline report is available here: https://www.data4impactproject.org/publications/evaluation-of-the-futures-project-baseline-report/.

The main development hypothesis that this evaluation aims to address is that integrating a health, livelihood, and environmental programming approach will lead to broader and more sustainable improvements than implementation of single-sector approaches.

This report shares findings from the midline evaluation, which sought to contribute to what is known about the process of implementing cross-sectoral programs, including the community response to this type of programming.
Shortname: TR-23-531
Author(s): Fikadu Mitiku, Liz Millar, Adugna Eneyew Bekele, Janine Barden-O’Fallon
Year: 2023
Language: English
Region(s): ETHIOPIA