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Reports and Studies

Rwanda, Africa

An Impact Study of the Heifer Project: Effects of Dairy Cow and Meat Goat Donation on Household Nutrition in Rural Rwanda

This paper explores the current approaches to increasing dietary diversity and the consumption of animal source foods, and presents evidence that Heifer International's animal donation program is improving household dietary diversity in Rwanda by increasing the consumption of animal source foods. It is found that receiving a dairy cow is correlated with an increase in monthly per person dairy consumption of 9.15 liters and receiving a meat goat is correlated with an increase in monthly per person meat consumption of .20 kilograms. Current research shows that there is room for improvement in the fight against malnutrition.

  • Methodology: Propensity Score Matching, Ordinary Least Squares, Poisson
  • Investigator(s): Rosemary Rawlins

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Rwanda, Africa

Livestock Donation and Child Health: Evidence from Heifer International, Rwanda

This paper evaluates the impact of dairy cow and meat goat donations on the chronic and acute nutritional status of children five years of age. The data was collected from household level surveys in two regions of Rwanda participating in Heifer International's livestock donation program. The results show that donations of dairy cows significantly improve the mean height for age of children while having no significant effect on the mean weight for height. Donations of meat goats were found to have no significant effect on any of the examined measures of child malnutrition.

  • Methodology: Ordinary Least Squares, Seemingly Unrelated Regressions, Propensity Score Matching
  • Investigator(s): Svetlana Pimkina

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Albania & Macedonia, Europe

Evaluation of Heifer International Impact in Albania

Since 1996, Heifer has supported nearly 60 projects in Albania and Macedonia. From Heifer's portfolio of historic, reporting, and active projects, eight were purposively selected with 385 persons interviewed for the evaluation. On average, participant families' unadjusted gross annual income attributable to the project was $3,803 and the unadjusted value of assets attributable to Heifer was nearly $5,500 USD per participant family. Moreover, Heifer has had a modest impact on basic needs and social capital, a large impact on livestock care and management, and education, and a small environmental impact, in the sampled projects.

  • Methodology: Mixed Methods, The Key Evaluation Checklist, Heifer Hoofprint Model, Heifer Six Value Groups, analysis of impacts in income, assets, and nutrition.
  • Investigator(s): Chris L. S. Coryn, Kristin A. Hobson, and Robert H. McCowen

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Philippines, Asia

An Impact Analysis of Heifer Philippines' Effectiveness on Food Security, Living Standards, Capacity Building and Sustainability

In the Philippines, poverty is an immediate reality for 24.47 million people every day. In the same vein of its parent organization Heifer International, Heifer Philippines takes a holistic approach to alleviating poverty by providing livestock, training, and complementary resources to small scale farmers. In July through August 2012 an impact evaluation of five Umbrella Projects in the Philippines was performed. The focus of the research was to disentangle the different mechanisms that comprise Heifer International's holistic approach, in order to help design future interventions that maximize Heifer's impact and are sustainable. Main results are summarized and policy recommendations are provided.

  • Methodology: Propensity Score Matching, Ordinary Least Squares
  • Investigator(s): Ludovica Gazze and Timothy Ong

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Nepal, Asia

External Impact Evaluation of Heifer International in Nepal

Heifer Nepal was estimated to have met 53.4 percent of the needs within the communities we visited. Overall, Heifer is consistently making important contributions to reducing poverty and improving living conditions in Nepal. More than nine out of 10 of the 94 families interviewed (91.5%) indicated that they had increased their income as a direct result of their participation in the projects. An important feature of Heifer Nepal is that projects target women, which has contributed greatly to improvements in gender equity.

  • Methodology: The Key Evaluation Checklist, Heifer Hoofprint Model, Heifer Six Value Groups, analysis of impacts in income, assets, and nutrition, and of cost effectiveness.
  • Investigator(s): Thomaz K. Chianca PhD, Lee Balcom MS, Kelly Robertson MS

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Uganda, Africa

Impact Evaluation of Heifer International in Uganda

This evaluation finds the Heifer Uganda country program to be well designed, well managed, and making a significant and highly cost-effective contribution to reducing poverty and improving living standards and environmental sustainability (mainly) among Uganda's rural population. We visited eight completed projects of Heifer Uganda's more than 70 projects and conducted interviews with project leaders, group members, and with 95 randomly selected beneficiary families. Overall, we found a generally high management standard with few animal deaths, fairly strong ongoing groups, mostly high rates of passing on the gift, and widespread adoption of messages from Heifer trainings.

  • Methodology: The Key Evaluation Checklist, Heifer Hoofprint Model, Heifer Six Value Groups, analysis of impacts in income, assets, and nutrition, and of cost effectiveness.
  • Investigator(s): Dr. Paul Clements, Krystin Martens, and Kurt Wilson

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Nepal, Asia

Evaluation of the Welfare Impacts of a Livestock Transfer Program in Nepal (Coming Soon)

Ongoing research through 2018. This project seeks to disentangle the importance of physical assets relative to human and social capital in the provision of social protection designed to (permanently) increase resiliency and improve the nutritional and economic outcomes for the chronically poor in Nepal. Specifically, we will partner with Heifer International to evaluate the impact of a multifaceted social protection program transferring human, social and physical (livestock) capital. 

  • Methodology: Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Investigator(s): Sarah Janzen, Nicholas Magnan, Ruth MeinzenPDick, Rajendra Pradhan, and Sudhindra Sharma

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Peru, South America

Gender Evaluation Cusco Peru (Coming Soon)

Ongoing research through 2015. Full report coming soon...

  • Methodology: Quasi Experimental Design
  • Investigator(s): Dr Juliana Acheson

Zambia, Africa

Milk in the Data: Food Security Impacts from a Livestock Field Experiment in Zambia (Coming Soon)

Ongoing research through 2015. Full report coming soon...

  • Methodology: Framed Field Experiment
  • Investigator(s): University of Illinios/Elanco

LAC, Africa

Evaluation of the Coffee projects in LAC (Coming Soon)

Ongoing research through June 2016. Full report coming soon...

  • Methodology:
  • Investigator(s): Dr. Ellen Fitzpatrick, Rienzzie Kern, Lauren Remedios, Matt Delvin