Evaluations

  1. Evaluation

    Protecting the Amazon: Outcome Harvesting Evaluation

    In recent years, industrial-scale production of commodities like palm oil and cocoa has been introduced in Peru and Colombia. The rapid expansion of these crops puts at risk the health and biodiversity of large swaths of the Amazon and threatens the rights, lives, and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities in these areas. In response to these dangers, in early 2017 Oxfam launched the project Protecting the Amazon: A Strategic Approach to Combat Commodity-Driven Deforestation by Empowering Citizens in Peru and Colombia, with the goals of curbing the indiscriminate expansion of agribusinesses and protecting the rights of local communities. The project has been implemented in the departments of Loreto, San Martín, and Ucayali in Peru, and in the departments of Caquetá and Vichada in Colombia.

    This evaluation uses an outcome harvesting methodology and asks: How has the project contributed to the advancement of social and environmental justice in Peru and Colombia, and to curbing the expansion of agribusinesses that threatens biodiversity and the rights of local communities? The evaluation finds that the project has made significant contributions in multiple areas, and it has made progress toward social and environmental justice in Peru and Colombia. However, the problem of the socioenvironmental impacts of agribusinesses and monocrops is complex and massive in scale, and there is no project that could succeed in solving such an intricate problem or in creating long-term transformations in just three or four years. In contexts like those described, outcomes in many cases are associated with protection, prevention, and curbing of adverse threats and changes. It is likely that without the Protecting the Amazon project there would be more deforested hectares in the Amazon, more monocrop projects acquiring land in illegal ways, new ZIDRES projects in Colombia financed with public funds to benefit the private sector, less transparency regarding the operations of business groups and large-scale agribusiness, a less active and vigilant public sector, and more defenders vulnerable to the intimidation of companies and corrupt public officials.

  2. Evaluation

    Behind the Brands Independent Evaluation on the Implementation of Climate Commitments

    This independent evaluation by Climate Focus assesses climate progress for the Behind the Brands companies. The report evaluates action that has been taken in companies’ operations and supply chains to reduce emissions, as well as evidence of capacity building to realize targets – through actions like measurement, reporting and engagement.

    Overall, the assessment findings are positive in that they show companies have made considerable progress on climate action over the past four years. Nine of the ten Behind the Brands companies have set science-based emission reduction targets (SBTs) demonstrating serious climate ambition. But while these commitments are commendable, even more crucial is the action taken by companies to realize their goals. Action taken throughout the value chain – such as supplier engagement and setting strong performance standards – is especially important in the food and beverage sector, where the bulk of emissions arise from agricultural commodity production.

    Of all categories assessed, criterion 3, on engagement with suppliers, was the weakest and most variable. The lack of comprehensive systems for collecting supplier emission data, and the provision of tools for suppliers, is an obvious shortcoming. Similarly, criterion 6, relating to company deforestation commitments, reveals gaps in the way companies are safeguarding their sourcing processes. If companies are to realize their commitments and work to mitigate climate change, action must involve engagement, intervention, and progress at the farm level.

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  3. Evaluation

    Behind the Brands Independent Evaluation on the Implementation of Land Rights Commitments

    This independent evaluation by Emerald Network focuses on land rights, access and sustainable use, through an assessment of five companies: the Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), PepsiCo, Nestlé, Unilever and Associated British Foods’ (ABF) subsidiary Illovo Sugar Africa. As a result of the Behind the Brands campaign, these companies have publicly recognized the risk of people being dispossessed of their land to make way for agricultural commodities and have pledged to respect the rights of women, communities and smallholder farmers.

    The evaluation finds that since the start of the Behind the Brands campaign, companies’ internal policy environment in relation to land rights and zero land grabs has significantly improved and is aligned with international best practice. Most company land governance frameworks are in place. However, there is evidence of policy evaporation and “phantom” practice when implemented across the supply chain.

    Emerging good practices include establishing long term implementation partnerships with international and local land rights CSOs; publicly revealing supply chains, grievances and suspension of suppliers; mapping land under crop production in countries; supporting and investing in the documentation of land rights; investing in the training of staff; acknowledging the link between systemic poverty and land use; investing in sector-level cooperation in order to deepen impact and create economies of scale in corporate social responsibility investments with regard to land issues.

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  4. Evaluation

    Behind the Brands Independent Evaluation on the Implementation of Gender and Cocoa Commitments

    This report presents the findings of an independent evaluation carried out by Dr. Ritu Mahendru and commissioned by Oxfam’s Behind the Brands (BtB) initiative. The evaluation provides an analysis of gender assessments and action plans published by Mars, Mondelēz, and Nestlé from the top three (3) cocoa producing countries: Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia.

    Overall, the companies are doing significant work to improve the gender realities of many women cocoa farmers on the ground. But much of that information goes unpublished, making it difficult to assess what progress is being made. While all three companies presented consolidated gender assessments of the three countries, those assessments did not appear to have any connections to the action plans produced, nor were they produced in the sequence expected. The evaluation inquiry suggests that the overall quality of the gender assessments has declined for two of the companies since the last independent evaluation, commissioned in 2014.

    The consultant concludes that while the companies have the technical capacity to address challenges faced by female cocoa workers, an explicit focus on women’s and girls’ lived realities and voices is required in their action plans and gender assessments. There is no single solution to address vulnerability faced by women in the cocoa sector. It requires a transparent, intersectional approach relying on the principles of social inclusion and equity, unpacking gendered and racial power relations to support multiple interventions.

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  5. Evaluation

    Behind the Brands Independent Evaluation on Implementation of UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)

    This report is an independent assessment of the extent to which the world’s largest food and beverage companies have implemented the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). The WEPs, designed by UN Women and the UN Global Compact, showcase best practice on women’s rights and gender equality in private sector operations. The Principles are the “primary vehicle for corporate delivery” on gender equality within the 2030 agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

    The report indicates that most companies have made progress in improving women’s empowerment in their companies and across their supply chains. However, evidence suggests that progress remains uneven between headquarters and country offices, especially for parental leave and caregiving policies. There are significant information gaps across policy and practice areas. It is clear from the companies’ survey responses that they are producing evidence-based information. However, these documents are not all publicly available, which makes it difficult to assess companies’ level of ambition on implementation. The evaluation makes specific recommendations to ensure that the companies are using and implementing the seven Principles throughout their business mechanisms.

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  6. Evaluation

    Documenting the R4 Global Partnership in Ethiopia and Senegal

    Successes and Challenges

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