Using participatory impact pathway methodology to evaluate public–private partnerships in the poultry sector in Ethiopia

A new case study on the poultry sector in Ethiopia reports on the first use of participatory impact pathway methodology to evaluate public–private partnerships in the veterinary domain. 


The study, published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science (Feb 2022), represents a milestone in building a participatory evaluation framework of public–private partnerships in the veterinary sector.


Public–private partnerships in the veterinary domain are joint approaches in which public veterinary services and private actors such as private veterinarians, producer associations or private companies work together to address complex animal health challenges and develop the capacities of veterinary services. 


Participatory impact pathway methodology is a joint approach to planning, monitoring and evaluation of a sector, program or project, aimed at strengthening the engagement of all actors, including vulnerable groups, to achieve the desired impacts.


In Ethiopia’s veterinary sector, few public–private partnerships have been evaluated, and none of the evaluations developed so far in the veterinary domain explicitly address the complex design of the partnerships, their governance, coordination and impacts. 


Therefore, this case study sought to evaluate a public–private partnership between EthioChicken, a private distributor of chickens to rural farmers in Ethiopia, and the public veterinary services of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. 


This public–private partnership is aimed at developing the poultry sector in Ethiopia and improving the coverage of poultry health services in the country, especially in remote areas. 


Semi-structured interviews and collective reflection sessions during workshops were used to capture the viewpoints of public and private partners, actors who influenced the partnership, and actors impacted by it. 


The study mapped the categories of actors directly and indirectly involved in the partnership. It also investigated the context and governance of the partnership and its economic, health and social impacts.


In Ethiopia’s poultry sector, collaboration between the public and private actors occurs at both national and regional levels. Inputs in the partnership include an enabling policy environment through the Growth and Transformation Plan as well as the ministry’s campaign to promote the consumption of exotic chicken meat and eggs.


Other important inputs in the partnership include animal disease surveillance and investigation, production of poultry vaccines and an extension service network that operates from national to ward level.


The public–private partnership model has seen a number of positive outcomes linked to the production and consumption of poultry products in the country. Increased demand for poultry vaccines and chicken feeds led to increased business opportunities and more income for veterinary input suppliers. 


Better health supply systems coupled with training of farmers and village poultry development agents resulted in reduced circulation of poultry diseases. Consequently, smallholder farmers were able to raise healthy chickens and produce high-quality eggs and chicken meat. Their households also consumed more eggs and chicken, resulting in positive nutritional and health outcomes.


In addition to positive impacts on animal health, public health and business, there have been societal benefits such as improved child education rates, women's empowerment and opportunities for employment and training.


The public–private partnership model of poultry production and marketing in Ethiopia also facilitated capacity development of veterinary services in poultry health, leading to increased farmer and consumer trust in veterinary service providers. There was also an increase in consumer trust in the quality of chicken produced within the partnership model. 



N’Guessan, N.B., Poupaud, M., Dieuzy-Labaye, I., Asfaw, Y.T., Wieland, B., Tesfu, F., Daniel, U., Tulayakul, P. and Peyre, M. 2022. Evaluation of public-private partnership in the veterinary domain using impact pathway methodology: In-depth case study in the poultry sector in Ethiopia. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 9: 735269.

Header photo: Smallholder poultry farmer in Sidama, Ethiopia (ILRI/Kettema Yilma)