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Department for International Development (DFID)

Evaluation of DFID’s Country programmes: Country study Lesotho 2000 – 2004

Julian Gayfer, Michael Flint, Annalize Fourie

Department for International Development (DFID)

May 2005

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  1. This is the report of an independent evaluation of DFID’s programme in Lesotho from 2000 to 2004. The evaluation had three broad objectives: to provide an account of the performance of the programme over this period (in terms of delivery against development objectives and management of resources), an assessment of overall value for money and DFID’s added value as a development partner, and lessons to inform future DFID programming in Lesotho, Southern Africa and more widely (see Annex A for terms of reference).

  2. DFIDSA is responsible for engagement in Lesotho, working within the framework of support it provides to the five countries constituting the Southern African Customs Union (SACU): namely Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. This evaluation reviews DFID’s bilateral programme to Lesotho in the context of wider regional support.

  3. This evaluation is the fifth in a series of pilot Country Programme Evaluations (CPEs) commissioned by the Evaluation Department (EvD) of DFID. It continues to refine and develop the ‘outcomes based’ and ‘rapid and light’ approach to CPEs, building on recent work in Bolivia2. In February 2005 an evaluation team of three independent consultants undertook a two-week visit to Lesotho/South Africa. This was preceded by a one-week inception visit to the DFID offices by a staff member from EvD and an experienced regionally based consultant. This approach to CPEs promises a number of advantages; resourcing proportionate to the size of the programme, a strong results based perspective and credible view on accountability, delivering quick insights on strategic issues and a turn-around time that feeds the evaluation into management processes and corporate learning.

  4. The methodology of the light approach is based on three primary sources of evidence: consultations with past and present DFID staff; meetings with government, donor and civil society partners and consultants in Maseru (Annex B); and a rapid and selected review of existing DFID project-level and programme-level evaluations and reports (Annex C). No field or project visits to gather new primary data were carried out, nor were any additional studies or investigations commissioned. Only a limited range of respondents – mostly those who had been involved with DFID in some way – were interviewed. Internal quality3 and external effectiveness4 are the two main criteria used for assessing the performance of a country programme (see Annex D for the evaluation matrix).

  5. The remainder of this report is structured as follows. Section 2 outlines the key features of the context (Lesotho, donors and DFID) within which the DFID programme in Lesotho has been designed and implemented. Sections 3 and 4 assess programme quality and programme effectiveness respectively. Section 5 assesses Lesotho’s overall development progress. Section 6 presents the conclusions, lessons and issues emerging from the evaluation.

  1. Country Study: Bolivia 2000–2004, DFID Evaluation Report EV 656, January 2005.
  2. Those aspects of the programme that are largely or substantially within DFID’s control: strategy, relationships, internal organisation and the portfolio of activities.
  3. The results to which DFID has contributed at different levels (e.g. DFID project achievements, DFID programme outputs, DFID’s contribution to intermediate and medium term outcomes).

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