Malt barley farmer in Ethiopia.
Strengthening African Rural Smallholders

Strengthening African Rural Smallholders” (STARS) is a five years program implemented by ICCO Cooperation and ICCO Terrafina Microfinance, in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. The STARS program is directly supporting 210,000 farmers, 50% of whom are women in rural Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Senegal to access financial services and markets as well as agricultural services and increase their capacity and knowledge. The program will have an overall impact in the lives of more than 1,000,000 people.

As ICCO are conducting their first SCOPEinsight assessments in the STARS program we sent them a few questions and we would like to thank Idrissa Ba, Assane Diop and Karim Zone for their input.

How are you using SCOPEinsight’s tools for the STARS program?
   – We are using the SCOPEinsight Basic assessment to evaluate the performance of potential producer organizations (POs). This scan will allow us to select the POs that will become partners in the STARS Program.

How many assessments are planned and how do you manage assessments at a large scale?
   – We have planned to do two assessments per producer organization in the STARS program. The first one is currently ongoing. A second assessments round will take place in one to two years, to measure the performance of the POs and of course of our intervention.

How will ICCO use the data from the assessments?
   – With the data we will have a photography of the producer organization in terms of weakness and strength.  But most importantly it can help ICCO to design its’ intervention in terms of support to the capacity building of POs. Our data can also help to promote SCOPEinsight as a tool that the market can use to conclude partnership with POs.

How can SCOPEinsight’s tools improve your project, in short term and long term?
   – In the short term the SCOPEinsight tools can give us a better profile of ICCO’s intervention for improving performance of the POs by designing targeted thematic intervention or identifiying suitable BDS, which can support POs and cooperatives. In long term ICCO hope that they will be by-in of the tools by other market actors to partners with producer organizations.

What did you learn so far?
   – We hope that SCOPEinsight, in addition to the existing tools, will also develop tools for capacity building of producer organizations.

More about ICCO and STARS>>