Cocoa Livelihoods Baseline Data Collection and Evaluation
With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and members of the cocoa industry, the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is implementing the cocoa livelihoods program to provide a range of interventions to increase the incomes of households in the cocoa-producing areas of five West and Central African countries—Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Liberia. Through farmer-to-farmer training and other diffusion techniques, the program expects to increase household income and cocoa productivity. Funders are also interested in knowing if increased household income positively affects nutrition and children’s schooling outcomes and evaluating whether farmers are implementing program interventions at expected levels.
During the first year of the evaluation, the study design was finalized with all stakeholders. Random assignment was used in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, and allowed changes in key outcomes to be attributed to program interventions. The WCF selected these two countries because of their impact on worldwide cocoa production and the availability of sufficient potential intervention and control sites within each country. For the other two countries, the WCF chose to use a pre-post design.
Mathematica collected baseline data on four key outcomes: cocoa production and productivity, income, schooling, and nutrition. The baseline memo assessed the comparability of the treatment and control groups and informed gender analyses of interest to the World Cocoa Foundation.