The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Accra (EKN Accra) commissioned SEO Amsterdam Economics to conduct the final evaluation of the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme’s second phase (CORIP II). CORIP was implemented by Solidaridad West Africa (SWA) in four countries: Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. EKN Accra funded the programme and managed the evaluation, which was conducted by SEO and its partner MDF Training & Consultancy, with fieldwork carried out by MDF West Africa in late 2021. This evaluation was conducted simultaneously with SEO’s evaluation of SWAPP and HortiFresh.

Key findings:

  • The design of CORIP was relevant to the West African cocoa sector.
  • The initial access to finance approach did not reflect international best practices, but the (re)focus on Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) was relevant.
  • On effectiveness, CORIP showed mixed results.
  • CORIP was effective in increasing access to services, particularly in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
  • CORIP was effective in increasing access to finance via VSLAs, although loan sizes remain small.
  • VSLAs empowered women, although it did not challenge traditional gender roles.
  • While CORIP’s output efficiency was adequate, outcome efficiency fell short.
  • Most CORIP outcomes are likely to be sustained.
  • Establishing VSLAs is likely one of CORIP’s most sustainable interventions.
  • The biggest sustainability challenge relates to the role of women and youth in cocoa.
  • The format and structure of the Theory of Change (ToC) and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) system of CORIP did not allow for clear and precise monitoring of the programme’s result.