Monitoring, Verification, and Evaluation (MVE) Unit, Agricultural Policy Reform Program (APRP)
Under the Agricultural Policy Reform Project in Egypt, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) depended on the objectivity of Abt Associates' verification reports to disburse very large grants to the Government of Egypt when reforms were made and to assess the impact of the reforms on economic growth and employment generation. These policy reforms targeted every aspect of the agricultural sector, including farming inputs and land tenure issues, agribusiness, and domestic and export trade, and were focused on privatization, liberalization, food security, and irrigation management. Abt Associates designed key monitoring indicators and tracked progress annually. We conducted innovative evaluations of subsectors including wheat, rice, cotton, and fertilizer to provide detailed pictures of how each subsector and its component firms had evolved under policy reform. The MVE team completed the verification of all five tranches of policy reform benchmarks. The Unit's monitoring program calculated progress indicators for the program as a whole and its verification reports were the primary basis for the cash transfers of the program. The Unit also completed 31 impact assessment studies. These addressed the longer-term question of whether actions taken by the Government of Egypt under the Agricultural Policy Reform Program (APRP), a program designed to improve the environment for investment and economic growth through the removal of policy impediments and the introduction of a more market-based economy, had truly achieved their final goals — to facilitate private investment, employment generation, and income growth.