"The Sulawesi Agricultural Area Development Project (SAADP) is an economiccommercial project whose aim is to reduce poverty in Central Sulawesi and South-east Sulawesi. It was funded by a World Bank loan and was implemented between August 1996 and December 2003. In 1999 the project was redesigned in such a way that its focus changed from agricultural area development to local community initiatives (IMS) with stress on micro-finance activities, which at the village level are managed by the Unit for Management of Village Activities/Finances (UPKD). The present socioeconomic impact evaluation of SAADP, which was undertaken in the context of providing an alternative input for the final SAADP report, was carried out by the SMERU Research Institute between February and May 2004 at the request of the World Bank. The objectives of the evaluation, which covers the period since the project was redesigned and focus shifted to micro-finance activities, were: (a) to assess the economic and social impacts of SAADP, (b) to examine the ways in which the SAADP implementation process at the local level has influenced outcomes, and (c) to study SAADP experiences in the interests of further policy development and the design of possible follow-on activities. The study combined a quantitative household survey and in-depth interviews with key informants. Field research was carried out in four districts, namely Donggala and Tolitoli in the Province of Central Sulawesi and Konawe Selatan (Konsel) and Muna in the Province of South-east Sulawesi. In each district, three villages that had participated in SAADP were selected along with one control village, which is a village that had not participated in SAADP and was similar to the other sample villages in geographical typology and socioeconomic characteristics. The study involved 618 respondent households, of which 408 had participated in SAADP, 90 were control households living in the SAADP sample villages, and 120 were control households in the control villages. Sample households were chosen randomly, except for control households in the SAADP villages, which were selected purposively. Research findings indicate that project socialization at the village level was generally carried out more than once. On the first occasion, the SAADP facilitator explained the project purpose and implementation process. On the second occasion, socialization took the form of a village discussion to establish UPKD management. Even so, only around 60% of SAADP respondents stated that they had obtained their first information about the project from a village meeting."
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