Senegal: Evaluation of the Irrigation and Water Resource Management Project

Prepared for
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Senegal water irrigation lock

The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Irrigation and Water Resource Management Project is an infrastructure and land tenure intervention carried out in Senegal from 2011-2015. The project was implemented in two regions along the Senegal River Valley and included upgrades to and the rehabilitation of a canal and drainage system for 60,000 hectares of potential rice fields, construction of a multi-crop irrigated perimeter, clarification of land rights, development of a land allocation process, support for land rights of vulnerable groups, and training in land-tenure security tools and irrigation techniques for local water user committees. 
The key objectives were to increase agricultural production, employment, and incomes in the Senegal River Valley; formalize farmers’ land rights; and mitigate land disputes.

Mathematica conducted an evaluability assessment of the project and is carrying out a mixed-method evaluation including an impact analysis that uses a difference-in-differences (DID) approach to estimate the causal effects of some project activities. Through this approach, we will compare beneficiaries (the treatment group) to non-beneficiaries (the comparison group) before and after the intervention. Integrated into the evaluation is a descriptive outcomes and implementation analysis that uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the mechanisms that brought about project impacts and to better interpret the estimates produced through the DID analysis. 

The evaluation will contribute to an understanding of 1) the impact of large-scale irrigation infrastructure investments on agricultural output and household incomes; 2) the impact of formalization of land rights, perceptions of land tenure security and the strengthening of land management institutions on agricultural investment, production, and incomes and; 3) the potential of comprehensive, inclusive and participatory land tenure formalization efforts to create sustainable long-term outcomes.