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Assessment of Kenya’s EU-funded Standards and Market Access Programme

Assessment of Kenya’s EU-funded Standards and Market Access Programme

Over the past decade, Kenya has experienced significant economic growth, social development and political gains, making the country one of the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite these triumphs, the country has continued to struggle with a multitude of challenges that includes poverty, inequalities, climate change and a noteworthy structural trade deficit position.

Kenya’s trade position continued to deteriorate between 2013 and 2017 and to this day continues to present an account deficit, despite government policies and programmes aimed at supporting economic growth, such as the EU-funded Standards and Market Access Programme (SMAP), which aimed to enhance market access and the competitiveness of Kenya’s plant and animal-based products by means of adopting international standards and improving regulation and enforcement in the country. Notably, during the implementation of the SMAP the account deficit fluctuated between 5.2% and 10.4% GDP which lead to a financing gap that was addressed through external borrowing.

In this scope, AETS was awarded a contract to evaluate the SMAP using the five standard DAC evaluation criteria, namely: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and early signs of impact. The 3-month evaluation further evaluates the EU added value, this is the extent to which the SMAP brings additional benefits, as well as the coherence of the programme itself. The team will also look into whether the programme took into account gender, the environment and climate change and the principle of Leave-No-One-Behind, whether the relevant SDGs were identified, and the rights-based approach methodology was followed. The overall objective of the contract awarded to AETS is to provide an overall independent assessment of the performance of the SMAP, taking into consideration the programme’s results in relation to its expected objectives, as well as the key lessons learned, conclusions and recommendations in order to help the EU improve any current and future actions.