May 23, 2022

The Mid-term Evaluation and Learning Exercise of the “Thailand Rice” NAMA Support Project is now available

Photo Copyright: GIZ / Thai News Pix

The NAMA Facility is supporting NAMA Support Projects (NSPs) that effect sector-wide shifts toward sustainable, irreversible, carbon-neutral pathways in developing countries and emerging economies. All NSPs with an overall duration of more than three years are subject to a mid-term and a final evaluation and learning exercise (ELE). These ELEs are part of the NAMA Facility’s working approach to catalyse transformational change through incremental monitoring processes that allow fearless learning.

The TSU has commissioned AMBERO and Oxford Policy Management to conduct the ELEs. The exercise is based on a theoretical framework that involves a document review, participatory workshops and stakeholder interviews to collect evidence about NSPs’ results and lessons. These elements are then analysed using a theory-based approach centred on the use of contribution analysis and reinforced by elements of process tracing. The ELEs seek to address the following questions:

- Has the NSP achieved its results?

- Has the NSP started to trigger transformational change?

- What was learnt from the NSP so far?

The “Thailand Rice” NAMA Support Project (Thai Rice for short) supports a shift to low-emission rice production in Thailand by capacitating farmers to implement low-emission rice farming practices, supporting entrepreneurs in providing mitigation services to farmers, and promoting low-emission production at the policy level.

On this account, AMBERO and Oxford Policy Management undertook a mid-term evaluation and learning exercise (ELE) on the progress of the NSP, between June and September 2021.

Below are some of the key findings of the ELE:

  • The NSP has promoted proven low-emission agricultural practices and technologies that have additional co-benefits in climate change adaptation.
  • The NSP is well aligned with the national government’s needs. The Thai government has adopted GHG data measurement supported by the NSP.
  • NSP is experiencing delays in the implementation of both financial and technical components. Lengthy contractual discussions and such external factors as Covid-19 and droughts led to an interruption in the activities of the NSP.
  • Evidence shows that the NSP is likely to contribute to the NAMA Facility Theory of Change. There are early signs indicating the NSP enables systematic change which will catalyse additional GHG savings.
  • There are some early signs of the NSP’s approach being mainstreamed into the relevant government agencies.  

The following lessons learnt, and recommendations were derived by the evaluators of the ELE for future NSPs in the rice production sector:

  • Reaching the targeted number of farmers can require more time than anticipated. A newly introduced technology in agriculture is more likely to take more time for uptake. Also, younger farmers could be easier to be convinced to participate.
  • The level of the farmers’ financial literacy should be considered to enable their access to finance. The financial literacy of the farmers should be assessed properly while the possibility of roll-out activities on financial literacy could be considered in parallel. 
  • Projects on access to finance in the agricultural sector should be undertaken based on a thorough analysis of the credit worthiness of farmers and service providers and their willingness to take loans.

Following the main findings and recommendations of the ELE, the TSU has compiled a management response to address the key points that were raised.

The full “Thailand Rice” mid-term ELE report is available here.

The TSU management response is available here.