This innovative intervention aims to tackle child labour, decrease poverty, promote diversification and push for more gender equality.
The Income Accelerator Programme (IAP) is a four-year program initiated by Nestlé and six of their traders aimed at increasing the income levels of 10,000 cocoa farming households in Côte d’Ivoire while reducing the prevalence and risk of child labor.
KIT, along with Rainforest Alliance and ICI, will assess how this programme helps cocoa-farm-households economically and socially in Cote d’Ivoire.
The core of the programme is built around four annual cash transfers, that are conditional, to stimulate behavioural change. The money will be sent to farmers’ phones, with half going to the husband and half to the wife, allowing women to spend or invest the money as they see fit. Farmers can expect to receive almost €500 (CHF 500) a year if they meet the necessary conditions. For each of four conditions met, they will receive around €96. Those who meet all four conditions receive a €96 bonus. That adds up to a total of €481 a year, more than a fifth of the income of an average cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire, who, according to KIT’s research, earns around €2,100 a year.
The four conditions are:
The adoption of good agricultural practices to stimulate cocoa production (i.e., pruning of cocoa trees) and reduce deforestation, prevalence of (cocoa-related) diseases and input costs;
Income diversification through initiating new activities / expanding existing ones (outside cocoa), setting up VSLAs (Village Savings and Loan Associations) and providing technical trainings;
Improving the rate of enrolment in schools of the children from participating households, and;
Stimulating agro-forestry by planting shade- and fruit trees on cocoa plots and reducing land-clearing of forests through increased productivity from existing cocoa land.
As the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) technical partner of the programme KIT is leading the following activities:
Development and operationalisation of the Theory of Change (ToC) of the IAP to identify relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) for monitoring, evaluation, and learning. The ToC and KPIs also help steer the program’s implementation.
Building and running a quarterly monitoring system that includes activity and output level data from Nestlé, traders, and other project partners like Rainforest Alliance and the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI).
Conducting several annual household surveys to evaluate the impact of the program by eliciting data on child labor prevalence, women empowerment, income sources and diversification, household income from cocoa, food security and resilience levels.
Evaluation of the programme at outcome and impact levels via an econometrically robust difference-in-difference strategy using a comparison group, which allows KIT to attribute potential changes in the livelihoods of farm households to the program. The goal is to study changes in socio-economic indicators such as household food security, resilience, and Living Income Gap, among other indicators.
Using the monitoring and survey data, KIT conducts additional ad-hoc research on the effects of GAP adoption on labor allocation and input use and aims to assess the main (causal) drivers of child labor prevalence to distill learnings relevant for all stakeholders in the cocoa sector.
Conducting field observations, focus group discussion (FGDs) and open-ended interviews to complement the quantitative MEL approach with qualitative insights, views and perceptions of cocoa producers, household members, IAP project partners and other stakeholders to ensure different perspectives and viewpoints are considered.
Using the multitude of data to maximise the impact of the program (i.e., impact management) by connecting different implementing organisations and disseminating results to Nestlé, traders, cooperatives, and their members during the implementation of the programme (not ex-post but ex-durante).