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Abstract: Five years after the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) established a seabass aquaculture in a poor, rural part of coastal Thailand, the project appears, on many counts, to be a success. An evaluation of the project by JICA itself notes that new techniques for seabass seed production have taken hold among the uneducated subsistence-level Islamic fishermen of the area and helped raise their standard of living. Many of the nearly 400 families involved can now afford the fees to send their children to school. But there are questions about the long-term prospects of the project. It seems possible that byproducts of the aquaculture could lead to contamination.
Learning Objective: This case calls for an evaluation of an evaluation. A private Japanese foundation with a strong interest in foreign assistance must evaluate the aquaculture project on a wide variety of criteria: institutional capacity building; economic and social impact; environmental impact and sustainability. The case calls both for answers to specific evaluative questions and for students to come to grips with evaluation design and analysis more broadly.