Impact Report Series, Issue 5

Evaluating the results of an agricultural cooperative support programme: Business practices, access to finance, youth employment

The “Impact report” series disseminates research reports from Taqeem-supported impact evaluations. Reports include baseline, endline and qualitative studies which describe the impact estimates of evaluations of youth employment interventions based on experimental and quasi-experimental designs.

This report assesses the effects of an intervention designed to enhance cooperative managers’ business skills, cooperatives’ overall competitiveness and cooperative members’ income and employment conditions, as well as food security in Rwanda. The research explores the short-term impact of the intervention on the employment, organizational, marketing and financial outcomes of agriculture cooperatives.

We found that the intervention appears to have persuaded cooperatives to increase their management activities – as shown through the establishment of additional sub-committees – as well as the portfolio of activities they perform. Cooperatives that benefited from the intervention earlier were more likely to perform storing and processing activities. We also found that this group had been in negotiation with a greater number of buyers than cooperatives that received the intervention later on, leading to a greater number of contracts being signed. However, no impact could be found on the other outcomes investigated as part of this report, such as the total number of services offered to cooperatives’ members or cooperatives’ access to finance.