In 2018, the Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability (PDCIS), an initiative launched in 2003 and coordinated by the Odebrecht Foundation, underwent an Impacts Evaluation study. In an unprecedented manner and backed by scientific rigor, the study enabled the Foundation to prove the economic, social and environmental transformation of the beneficiaries of the Program.
“Assessing impacts is today an almost indispensable condition in the current scenario of transparency and the watchful eyes of the society, especially on the actions of the non-profit sector. It is also a stage that provides information about the action in course and to check if the chosen route is effective, enabling adjustments and corrections along the way, if necessary”, explained Fabio Wanderley, Superintendent of Odebrecht Foundation.
Conducted by the specialized consulting firm JS/Brasil, the study took eight months. The scientific methodology adopted was Case–Control, which compared two groups: the Case group, consisting of the beneficiaries of PDCIS, and the Control group, consisting of non-beneficiaries. “There are few examples of assessments of this nature with the substance and security employed in this project. Hence the conviction of the impacts measured in the PDCIS, as well as the paths to take in order to make the program even more transformative”, said Miguel Fontes, director of JS/Brasil, who led the study.
The findings of the study showed, with statistical security, that the Program generates considerable wealth for the communities. On the economic side, in monetary terms, for each R$1.00 invested in PDCIS, benefits worth R$2.13 were generated for the society. It proved an average increase of R$25,593.24 in annual income from agricultural production, which could reach R$40,000 if associated with Coopatan. Moreover, those supported by the Program are less prone to using funds from welfare programs – the beneficiaries became 65% less dependent on the Bolsa Família program.
According to the Assessment, youth supported by the Program dream more about entrepreneurship and believed they received training for the same, and had opportunities to employ new agricultural technologies. “Earlier, I wanted to move to a large city and work at a company. But when I realized that I already work in a company, everything changed. My property is a company: you are an entrepreneur and you feed people. This is very important”, said Carolaine dos Santos, student of CFR-I who lives in Camamu, Bahia.
In terms of environmental impacts, the study identified that rural producers who combined agriculture and the rational use of natural resources obtained annual financial gains of R$20,000 on average more than the Control group, and those supported by PDCIS are three times less prone to burying or burning pesticide packaging and almost six times less inclined to burying or burning household waste.
The study also highlighted points to improve PDCIS, such as strengthening the integration among the institutions participating in the Program. Plans are on to improve the monitoring of youth joining the Program, provide greater stimulus to women’s leadership and the economic inclusion of women in the field.