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NEWS STORY

CHARMP2 rated satisfactory

 

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fter a difficult start and accumulated delays, the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resources Management Project (CHARMP2)  has significantly accelerated its delivery during the past year.

 

 

This was proven when an over-all rating of satisfactory was given to the project’s implementation progress. Indeed, this has brought good news to the project prior to the last year’s rating of moderately satisfactory. The result came out after the 5th IFAD/ NEDA Supervision and Implementation Support (SIS) Mission held in the project’s six covered provinces on February 26 to March 16, 2015.

 

The delivery of inputs and tangible physical accomplishments only transpired in 2014 yet gave an impressive remark from the previous’ years poor performance achieving 73% of its overall physical AWPB targets, 58% obligation and 29% disbursement of its overall financial targets. Outputs executed includes 170 barangay participatory investment plans calibrated; 6300 ha planted with seedlings (reforestation and agro-forestry); 163 Farmer Field Schools completed, graduating 5,200 farmers; kick-start grants (Livelihood Assistance Funds) provided to 470 beneficiary groups; 273 km of roads improved or rehabilitated; 32,000 linear meters of footpaths, 15 footbridges, 37 community irrigation systems (covering 650 ha) and 23 drinking water systems (serving 4,000 rural households) constructed. The overall impact of the outputs has made the project reached additional 40,000 households summing to 70,000 households since the start of the project.

 

Likewise, this year gave another notable remark as IFAD disbursement is nearly doubled in less than a year (from 30% last year to 56%) and higher OFID disbursement (from 26% last year to 80%).  This follows a doubling of IFAD disbursement in the year prior, from 13% in 2013 to 30% in 2014.  Obligated financial amounts are at a record high, about $11 million, to be incurred on completion of signed contracts. These obligations alone shall increase IFAD disbursement to 75%, and OFID to 100%.

 

The Mission aimed to assess CHARMP2 progress toward achieving its objectives, review the project’s effectiveness and efficiency and make recommendations to improve CHARMP2’s performance and enhance its impact and sustainability.

 

PARTICIPATORY APPROACH

CHARMP2 was commended as the Mission found the project’s participatory approach towards development of productive community assets and capabilities was highly appreciated by targeted communities and by LGUs alike; and that its support to local economic growth has shown to be relevant for poorer households, whose participation has been active and significant. This was seen during the past 2 years of implementation where the delivery of outputs has been catalyzed by counterpart contribution of DA and LGUs, which demonstrated the commitment of national and local authorities to a participatory and locally-driven development model for the Cordillera’s.

 

Also, the mission noted with satisfaction that the recent increases in funding allocation from the DA to rural communities, which allowed the substitution of LGU contribution, should continue in order to reach out to more communities in response to the high need for investment.

 

Au Revoir CHARMP2?

With less than 10 months remaining, the project is expected to fully close its door at the end of 2015.  

 

Although 90% is closest to a hundred percent of project completion, there is yet to complete. While the project is on going to deliver the remaining outputs, the outcome is still at stake as the project still needs to ensure the sustainability of the projects implemented. Now that CHARMP2’s target communities are able to fully capitalise on project results and grow into self-reliant development actors in their own right, support is now critically needed for mechanisms of sustainably maintaining

physical assets (civil works, forests and watershed, etc.), graduating organisational assets (People’s Organisations, Livelihood Interest Groups, etc.), and linking successful beneficiary groups with private  sector actors and/or public service programming. 

 

While the project initiated measures to address these needs, there are insufficient resources, particularly time, to fully address the challenge before completion in December 2015. Therefore, careful consideration of the exit strategy was assured that progress towards development objectives will continue, and that gains made by CHARMP2 are sustained after its completion.

 

Thus, the Mission made a recommendation that the Department of Agriculture, as lead project implementer, to extend the project for at least one year, until 2016. DA Secretary Proceso Alcala agreed to the extension. The said extension period will be utilised for rigorous assessment of outcomes and impacts for the target group; including the measurement of poverty reduction and the dissemination of lessons to other development actors in CAR and in the Philippines.

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