Evaluating value chain impact using a sustainable livelihoods approach: A case study on horticulture in Afghanistan
This paper presents the results of an innovative livelihoods-based impact assessment methodology applied to a horticulture value chain project for women in Afghanistan. The methodology, designed by CATIE Agricultural University in Costa Rica and the Ford Foundation (Donovan and Stoian, 2009), applies indicators that can be used to quantify assets and identify changes in their levels over time. Capital assets are used as proxies for changes in poverty and well-being, and thus, impact. The results show that the approach has potential to provide useful information on a broader (i.e. beyond economic) scope of impact, and offer a unique, non-conventional approach to visualizing value chain results. This research deepens the CATIE/Ford approach by charting pre-project and post-project levels for five key capital assets on a sustainable livelihoods five-pointed framework. While the illustrative clarity of the approach is useful, the primary challenge lies in numeric calculation for each type of capital asset. The paper presents alternatives for addressing this challenge as well as others noted in the paper.