In each country where it operates, the Pathways program utilizes the Participatory Performance Tracker (PPT) tool to monitor group members’ uptake of program-promoted practices. Pathways, in partnership with Datassist, can then compile these tracked behavior changes at country levels, for comparison between countries and aggregation across the program.
The performance of each individual group member, in relation to the individual performance areas laid out by program, was measured by assigning a two point measuring scale. Pathways used indicators covering 11 domains (soil and water management, use of inputs, gender, etc.) that are categorized into pre-planting, planting, harvest, and post-harvest across all five countries to ensure data comparability across countries. Groups were ranked by generating group practice adoption scores ranging from categories D (0-25%), C (26-50%), B (51-75%), to A (76-100%).
Findings from 2014 crop season demonstrate that most project groups receive a “B” grade, engaging in between 50 and 74% of all recommended practices; 14.4% of groups receive an “A” grade for outstanding uptake of new behaviors, slightly better than the previous crop season (2013). The areas in which the most groups are engaging in all of the recommended practices are: Harvest Management (20.0%), Input and Land Selection (13.8%), and Post-Harvest Management (10.8%).
Overall, 58% of groups across Pathways countries are engaging in all of the recommended practices in their value chain. However, farmers seem to be still struggling to adopt some of the recommended practices. The domains where most group members are struggling and adopted none of the recommended practices are: Record-keeping and Finance (16.6%), Spraying, Pest, and Disease Management (15.5%), and Post-Harvest Management (11.9%).
While mixed sex groups seem to have an easier time than single-sex groups in engaging new practices, exclusively female groups are adopting practices related to Harvest, Soil and Water Management, and Pest and Disease Management along with these mixed gender groups. Groups with mixed male and female leaders are engaging in more recommended practices than groups with only female leaders. A country comparison of recommended practice uptake in the 2014 crop season can be seen below:
The PPT database also includes data that permits calculating productivity and profitability at the individual farm level, though in a few cases data is drawn from the group-pilot level. Of the value chains Pathways collects data for, groundnut is the most profitable crop. Groundnut, paddy, and sesame value chains have seen increases in productivity, and groundnuts were the only crop to see increased profitability in 2014. Cassava productivity declined between 2013 and 2014 and sesame was the least profitable crop in 2014.
The data from the PPT helps Pathways gauge the successful uptake of its recommended practices and see how those practices are driving improvements in livelihoods that make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals. This information will be especially important as Pathways begins to transition into a potential Phase 2 of its programming, providing insights and lessons for future program design.