The Water to Market Activity is divided into two subactivities, the Improved Profitability of Water User Association Members Subactivity and the Institutional Strengthening Subactivity. The Institutional Strengthening Subactivity (ISSA) provided general technical support to water user associations (WUAs), the regional organizations that manage the distribution of and payment for irrigation water in Armenia. ISSA also provided assistance to three Water Supply Agencies (WSAs) that operate and maintain irrigation dams and pumping stations. The general aim of ISSA was to strengthen WUAs' and WSAs' managerial, technical, structural, and financial capacity and self-sufficiency. The intent of these improvements was to create more efficient and consistent irrigation supply for WUA members. ISSA also included an irrigation policy reform component, in which a reform strategy was developed through a participatory process with stakeholders such as WUA and government officials.
The WtM impact evaluation originally focused on WtM training, using a random assignment design to evaluate this WtM component. Initially, evaluations of the other three WtM components were not planned. However, MCC subsequently decided to conduct analyses of the effects of the other components to the extent possible using existing quantitative data sources. Although the analyses of WtM credit, ISSA, and PPM have important limitations, these additional analyses can still help document these components' implementation and provide suggestive evidence of whether they generated their intended effects. For each of the four components of the WtM Activity, we examine the following two broad sets of questions:
1. How was the component implemented? What were the characteristics of each component's participants, and how were these participants identified and recruited? What assistance was provided to participants through the component?
2. What were the impacts of the component? What were the impacts on practices or use of new technologies as a result of the component? What were the impacts on key outcomes such as household income and poverty?
We used a combination of quantitative and qualitative data to answer these research questions.
ISSA Evaluation Approach
For the ISSA evaluation, two data sources were used: (1) the Water User Association Administrative Survey and (2) the Water User Survey to compare WUA and water-user outcomes before ISSA to analogous outcomes after ISSA. This before-after design does not allow us to isolate the effect of ISSA from other factors that could have influenced WUAs' and water users' outcomes over this same time period, but it was the only viable option given the absence of a comparison group for the 44 WUAs assisted under the project.
Units of Analysis
Households, administrative data
Kind of Data
Administrative records data [adm]
Water User Survey:
The total number of surveyed households in 2009 was 1,420 (480 for targeted WUAs and 940 for non-targeted WUAs), and the 2010 and 2011 surveys featured (or will feature) a similar number of surveys for targeted versus non-targeted WUAs. Under the survey's methodology, all targeted WUAs were surveyed in both 2009 and 2010, but only a sub-sample of non-targeted WUAs was surveyed in both 2009 and 2010.
Water User Association Administrative Survey:
The WUA Administrative Survey collected administrative information from all 44 Water User Associations.
Rural areas in the 10 Armenian marzes excepting Yerevan.
Agriculture & Rural Development
Producers and Sponsors
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Metadata Produced By
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Metadata ID Number
MCC Compact and Program
Compact or Threshold
The Institutional Strengthening Subactivity (ISSA), implemented by Mott MacDonald and VISTAA, provided general technical support to water user associations (WUAs), the regional organizations that manage the distribution of and payment for irrigation water in Armenia. ISSA also provided assistance to three Water Supply Agencies (WSAs) that operate and maintain irrigation dams and pumping stations. The general aim of ISSA was to strengthen WUAs' and WSAs' managerial, technical, structural, and financial capacity and self-sufficiency. The intent of these improvements was to create more efficient and consistent irrigation supply for WUA members. ISSA also included an irrigation policy reform component, in which a reform strategy was developed through a participatory process with stakeholders such as WUA and government officials.
Agriculture and Irrigation (Ag & Irr)
By the end of this component's implementation in late 2010, all 44 participating WUAs (as well as all three participating WSAs) had completed needs assessments and management improvement plans (MIPs), meeting the goals for the subactivity. In addition, all 44 WUAs received computers, geographic information systems (GIS), and furniture in exchange for completing the first five ISSA milestones, which included establishing an MIP working group and a detailed work plan, installing information boards, and holding representative meetings. Similarly, 227 enterprises and farmer groups were assisted under the PPM, thus slightly surpassing the component's revised target of 225 assisted groups.
To target beneficiaries for PPM assistance, ACDI compiled a list of registered small businesses operating in food production, processing, or marketing. Through this method, they found fewer than 200 possible beneficiary groups. After program implementers determined that there were likely far fewer than the original target of 300 registered enterprises that could benefit from PPM assistance, the target number of participants was reduced to 225 over the entire implementation period. To meet implementation targets, program implementers also targeted farmers' groups for assistance. Given the dearth of registered production and processing enterprises in Armenia, MCC and MCA-Armenia decided that ACDI specialists should also organize and assist informal groups of farmers. The objective of this assistance was to strengthen farmer groups' ability to work directly with newly established consolidation centers and recently trained fruit processors, thus strengthening new links in key value chains. By September 2011, ACDI had assisted 94 farmer groups (in addition to 133 enterprises), thus meeting its revised target of 225 assisted beneficiary groups.