In 2020, Oxford Policy Management (OPM) was contracted by GALVmed to implement an intervention and conduct an associated impact study on the adoption of a Newcastle Disease Vaccine (NDV) by small-scale poultry farmers in rural Tanzania in the districts of Chemba and Mbozi. The objective of the study is to quantify the causal effects that the delivery of NDV has on the “production, productivity, and livelihoods of small-scale producers (SSPs)”. The study involves two main activities:
The design and implementation of an NDV intervention in selected SSP farming areas of Tanzania.
The design and implementation of an experimental study to quantify the causal effects of the NDV intervention.
The impact study was designed as a randomised controlled trial (RCT) where the study sample was randomly split into one treatment group and one control group. The treatment group was offered and will continue to be offered the NDV intervention package. This group will be compared with a control group, who did not and will not receive the intervention package during the study. The control group will receive one round of the intervention after the study’s endline survey.
A baseline study was conducted between September and November 2021 and the endline survey is scheduled for September to November 2023. Further details on the RCT and its findings will be made available upon publication of the results.
Impact is an important topic for any philanthropic organisation and GALVmed is putting this topic front and centre of our agenda for 2022. The primary reason is that we are in the process of finalising and beginning to implement our ten-year strategy, and it is vitally important that we integrate the lessons we have learned so far and align on the topic of impact.
To kickstart this process, three workshops were held over the end of January and beginning of February 2022 with the aim to provide a common, organisational understanding of impact. We took a look at our record of impact and discussed some of the associated key lessons learned from the three main programmes GALVmed has delivered to date, namely the first and second Protecting Livestock, Saving Human Life programmes (PLSHL 1 and PLSHL 2), and the Veterinary Innovations Transforming Animal Health and Livelihoods programme (VITAL). These workshops constituted the first phase of a collective look at impact within the organisation.
A second phase is being led by the evaluation team, which operates under the Commercial Development and Impact department (CD&I) at GALVmed. Lasting eight weeks, the primary purpose is to collate further data, present findings to our donors and board, and most importantly, to implement actionable findings into the Commercial Development, Research and Development, Evaluation, and Enabling Environment programmes under the new strategy.
The key activities include taking lessons learned from previous programmes of work and considering the implications for new GALVmed projects and programmes, creating a theory of change for GALVmed at an organisational level, in which the GALVmed mission is clearly stated and pathways to impact explained, and linking impact to GALVmed’s overall assessment of organisational performance. Through this process we intend to identify our potential for impact in the new strategy as well as the key levers and drivers for change.
The vignette approach involves reading out a fictitious story involving a main protagonist in a focus group setting and leaving the end of the story blank for the group to comment on ‘what happens next’ as a tool for a conversation about social and gender norms. As the landscaping study was designed to understand community perceptions of women’s involvement in poultry intensification, the vignette in this study was of a chicken keeper named Amina, whose poultry business was flourishing. Amina’s husband approaches her and wants to discuss her business. Responses from the community as to what happened next ranged widely. The following are some examples:
Amina was talented in chicken keeping as she started before she was married and benefited from it. I believe her husband wanted to give her knowledge on the business as well as to congratulate her because what she does is beneficial to the family and the whole society.
– Woman in Tanzania.
There’s no mention on the story where Amina’s business takes a dwindling turn, but it is forever growing, which excites me a lot. So, when the husband wants to talk to Amina about her business, there’s an element of knowledge capacitation the husband wants to offer to her so the business grows to greater heights.
– Man in Zimbabwe.
Maybe the man is jealous she is doing better than him and not getting her attention and other men are eyeing her; she is getting more money. He might think maybe one day she will not be submissive to him. He is afraid.
– Woman in Nigeria.
Through the vignette, we were able to gather information about potential consequences from husbands, family members, and community members when a woman intensifies her poultry production at the expense of her care duties. This includes responsibilities to the family, children, community, or breaking social norms such as speaking to male customers at night. Such consequences include shaming, social ostracization, gossip, jealousy, marital conflict, possibly even domestic violence, or divorce. While support from a husband and family members can lead to growth of the business, as the husband becomes more involved, there is a question about whether women’s ability to control resources and benefits diminishes.
The results of this study raise some interesting questions for the PREVENT project and the gender consequences of poultry intensification. GALVmed will be using these findings to inform a gender intentional approach to understanding, tracking, and communicating the gendered effects of the project.
The collection and analysis of data allow organisations to develop and implement impactful and evidence-based strategies. GALVmed’s Commercial Development and Impact Function is committed to a developmental approach to monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL), which means that we use rapid learning to improve a project programme or affirm the need for a change of course.
To be truly developmental, this learning needs to feed back in a systematic way into our organisation. How do we do that? We use a framework for lessons learning to ensure that the lessons are integrated back into GALVmed. The Collaboration, Learning and Adapting (CLA) framework, developed and used by USAID, is a useful approach that we have adapted to frame our learning process. USAID defines CLA as “a set of processes and activities that help ensure programming is coordinated, grounded in evidence, and adjusted as necessary to remain effective throughout implementation” (ADS 201, 2016).
CLA is based in the understanding that development projects operate in complex systems, which shift over time. In this changing landscape, the objectives that we set out at the beginning of a project or programme can be affected over a three or five year period of performance. Responding in an adaptive manner ensures that we keep moving towards having a positive impact. The adaptive decisions we make must be based in evidence, which is why we are integrating processes for CLA into the beginning of our projects or programmes and adjusting these throughout the project or programme life cycle. Essentially, this is an approach to learning that fits in perfectly with our developmental approach.
There are three main steps in our learning process:
The first step is to accurately define and diagnose the problem (or best practice). Some problems are logistical or operational and have easy fixes. But these, while important, do not usually make or break a project. Others are deeper and more complex and require a lot more thought and reflection to unpack them and to understand how to respond to them. Sometimes there are multiple causes to a problem, with some of them being root causes.
The second step is to categorise the problem (or best practice). The use of categories ensures key information is not missed and helps to focus our thinking on lessons. To ensure consistency across projects, there are standard categories for each project and additional categories specific to a project can be added as needed.
The third step is to define a road map for the way forward. This involves defining what action needs to take place, and how to know when that action has succeeded. At the end of a lessons learning exercise, there should be a road map that takes us from a lesson to action and adaptation.
Throughout this process, active collaboration is key to ensuring that we view our lessons from multiple perspectives and that our stakeholders have a voice.
Pig production in India has increased substantially in recent times. It is considered one of the most sustainable industries in the country. Pigs as compared to other livestock species have great potential to contribute to faster economic return to the farmers, because of certain inherent traits like high fecundity, better-feed conversion efficiency, early maturity and short generation interval. Pig farming also requires small investment on buildings and equipment.
Mahendra Singh, 46, is one such small-scale farmer. Hailing from the village of Chirlamujapata near Prayagraj city of Uttar Pradesh province, he had ambitions of going beyond his family’s traditional farming activities and ventured into pig farming. He got inspiration from watching YouTube videos on pig farming, and in 2019 he, along with his brother Rahul Singh set up a pig farm, armed with the knowledge from YouTube and consultations from a few farmers in his locality who reared pigs.
They started small but have been able to grow the business gradually even in the hard times of the pandemic.
“We spend about INR 18 lakh (approximately US $23,800) every year and make a profit of INR 15 lakh (approximately US $19,800) annually. Of the sales we make, about 40% is profit,” says Mahendra. The expenditures include buying piglets, feed, medicines & healthcare, labour, electricity etc.
To ensure that the pigs are healthy, Mahendra has been working with representatives of Hester Biosciences, who regularly visit farmers within the locality to support them with their animal health needs. Hester Biosciences has been working with GALVmed and local government officials in provision of crucial veterinary medicines and advice targeted at small-scale livestock producers.
After the initial intensive guidance, Mahendra is now able to proactively make decisions regarding the health of the pigs. “In the three years I have been in business, I am happy with the success we have been able to achieve.” But this success has not been without hard work and growing pains. After the initial capital of INR 9 lakh (approximately US $11,880) more expenses cropped up that required more capital injection to the tune of INR 26 lakh (approximately US $34,320). The business was finally able to break even after two years, which is a feat, considering disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Apart from the regular feed given to the pigs, Mahendra used mineral supplements such as Repro Plus and for pregnant sows, Protin C. The supplement is given to the sows even after the deliveries of piglets.
The farm can have up to 300 animals at a time. Pigs are sold once every six months and most of them are transported to the north-eastern states of the country, where pig consumption is high. The business has become the main source of income for Mahendra and his family. He has set an example of success that may soon be emulated by others.
As success spread, so did interest, and more small-scale producers continue to venture into pig farming. In Mahendra’s locality, about 60 farmers are involved in pig farming now. And these farmers will require animal health services and information to take care of their pigs and improve their livelihoods.