Madagascar: Reducing Poverty and Increasing Investment

Prepared for
Millennium Challenge Corporation

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) sponsored the Millennium Challenge Account Madagascar Compact in order to increase household income and land productivity in five intervention zones and, eventually, nationwide. The Compact funded three projects: land tenure, finance, and agricultural business investment. These were collectively designed to increase investment in rural areas by rural producers and the domestic private sector. The main activities involved provision of support to the Malagasy Land Administration Services and land management offices, modernization of the financial sector, and service provision to rural producers and small enterprises, as well as technical assistance to farmers. The five-year compact was terminated in August 2009, a year earlier than planned, in response to an undemocratic transition in power. For this project, Mathematica designed an ex-post evaluation of the project components.


As part of the initial project, Mathematica undertook the following activities:

  • Completed a program review and a data review and produced a detailed evaluation design for key activities within each component      
  • Performed an in-depth program review to determine which activities were best suited for rigorous evaluation based on their strategic importance and degree of implementation
  • Completed an extensive review of administrative, survey and monitoring, and evaluation data for each component to determine whether or not existing data could support rigorous evaluation designs.


Finally, Mathematica submitted a design memo to MCC presenting four detailed evaluation designs for the key activities under each component. The proposed evaluation designs included an uptake analysis, in-depth qualitative analysis, interrupted time series, and matched comparison group design.


MCC chose a process analysis of compact activities. This study included a careful review of available documents and data to determine what was planned for each intervention, how much was implemented, what barriers existed to implementation, and what possible outcomes could be identified.