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Final Evaluation of FOMEVIDAS, Rural Development Strengthening and Poverty Reduction Programme in Boaco and Chontales

The FOMEVIDAS Programme (2005-2010) was executed by the Institute for Rural Development (IDR), with a total financial execution of 11 million Euros. Approximately 10% of this budget was contributed by the national counterpart and the rest by Finland. IDR was the agency implementing the Public Investment Programme of the Nicaraguan Government and international cooperation on issues relating to rural development and poverty eradication.
The overall objective of the FOMEVIDAS programme was to contribute to rural development and poverty reduction in the provinces of Boaco and Chontales by promoting, supporting and strengthening local, provincial and national organisations and institutions, improving access to assets, reducing vulnerabilities, and supporting livelihood strategies of poor women and men.

The programme defined the three specific objectives (within respective programme components): 1) Contribute to the economic inclusion and competitiveness of the most excluded sectors, including women and youth, striving to guarantee and increase family incomes in a sustainable manner (socially, economically and environmentally); 2) Increase the level of development of human capital (women, men, elderly and young adults) through intervention actions in health, hygiene, nutrition, and formal education and occupational training; and 3) Strengthen institutional capacity at national and local levels for effective coordination of rural poverty reduction processes.

The strategic base of the FOMEVIDAS programme was the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA). This approach gave priority to the assets (tangible and intangible) of the people, their ability to withstand impacts (vulnerability context), and policies and institutions that reflect the priorities of the poor and their environment.

The beneficiaries of the programme were defined as follows: 1) Final beneficiaries: the poor rural population in the departments of Boaco and Chontales with economic potential; 2) Intermediate beneficiaries: institutions and organizations dedicated to rural poverty reduction, as well as executing units hired for that purpose; and 3) Target group: poor rural households in selected municipalities of Boaco and Chontales. Special attention was given to gender issues.

Objectives of the evaluation
Because of the high level of implementation of the FOMEVIDAS programme in the departments of Boaco and Chontales, the Nicaraguan government requested a second phase of the programme. The government suggested a continuation of the current overall objective of the FOMEVIDAS programme and proposed an expansion towards a new territory, the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS), where poverty was an even greater problem than in the rest of the country. Before making a final decision on a possible second phase, it was therefore necessary to evaluate the first phase of the FOMEVIDAS programme.

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