Dear Donors,

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) was set up to lift barriers to trade in East Africa, with the aim of reducing poverty by boosting the region’s economies. Its first phase ran from 2011 to 2017, and the second is ongoing.

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) commissioned an independent evaluation of TMEA programmes and operations from 2011-2017 to explore what lessons can be learned on TMEA’s effectiveness and, more broadly, the role of trade in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty–an increasingly topical question around the world.

We have learned much from this comprehensive review and we hope that this information will also be valuable to you, our donors.

The evaluation asked the following questions

1. How effective was TMEA overall?
Has the programme been effective in delivering its outputs and outcomes? How has this been affected by the programme’s organisational model and how could this be improved?

2. Did TMEA make trade easier?
Have the port and one-stop border post projects been effective in delivering their outputs and achieving their trade outcome objectives?

3. Did TMEA boost economic growth?
What is the likely impact of TMEA on trade outcomes and growth, and what factors are critical in order to ensure the sustainability of positive impacts?

4. Did TMEA address poverty and gender?
What is the likely impact of TMEA on poverty and gender, and what factors are critical in order to ensure the sustainability of positive impacts?

5. Did TMEA’s theory of change stand up?
How robust and verified are the causal links and assumptions in the TOC? What does this imply for the relevance, coherence and sustainability of the programme, and what are the lessons learnt that are relevant beyond TMEA?

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