My internship experience as Oxfam Novib intern has enabled me to impact the lives of
thousands people. One of the reasons that motivate me to work in Oxfam is the
moto of ‘making a difference’. Above all my research output can actually change in
the life of thousands. While working as part of the impact evaluation team as quantitative researcher, we evaluate project progress and possible outcomes. I believe impact evaluation is vital to identify evidences of what works in international development by assessing the true impact of an intervention, programme, policy, or project. During my internship experience, I conducted research from a baseline survey collected under ‘Right to food’ project in Uganda and Indonesia. ‘Right to food’ project
is one of the projects on progress in 15 countries under strategic partnership
program in collaboration with partner Oxfam affiliate. The research aims to
look at; Who are vulnerable groups? Does the extent of households’ vulnerability
determine their knowledge about farming practices? How likely is that
vulnerable groups participate in activities to ensure their land right and
access to water?
For this research purpose vulnerable groups are classified on the basis of the household
head’s gender and on the condition of being affected by food insecurity and
climate change. Gender equality and women’s’
right to own land are crucial components to realize food
security. Due to traditional patriarchal
norms in rural part of Uganda, women have been deprived from possession of
property inheritance and divorce settlement, regardless of the fact that they
are the main actors of production. Additionally, current climate variability
and future climate change impact women more in comparison to men because of their
social position. Famer’s knowledge about seed management knowledge and practice
is also considered as one of the main factors which increase productivity to
ensure food security. This is because the extent of vulnerability could be
decreased by adapting seeds which are highly productive and resistant to
climate change conditions. In the ‘Right to Food’ project, land and seed rights
are taken as fundamental enablers to realizing citizens’ right to food.
One of the research outcomes indicates applying seed selection and weed and pest control knowledge will increase the probability of food security by more than two times
while applying planting and spacing knowledge triples the probability of food
security. Another positive finding is that as the households’ level of
knowledge about seed selection, plant and spacing and; weed and pest control
increase their ability to tackle climate change also increases. Furthermore, as
female households’ education level increases it doubles the probability of
practicing farming activities and participate in activities to secure their
right to land and access to water.
Findings like this will help to develop innovative decision making towards policies and
strategies targeting food security. I believe there needs to be more plat forms
where development professionals in the NGO sectors share their research
findings. It creates better awareness about the ongoing programs and projects
as well as impacts obtained as a result of the intervention.
Meron did her internship on Quantitative data analysis for our Impact measurement unit.