The goal of the project was to enhance the livelihoods of the target population through increased sustainable economic activity and greater social self-reliance. The project covered 78 villages in the Noubaria land reclamation zones located on either side of the Cairo-Alexandria desert road. The total targeted population was 36,180 households or 228,000 individuals.
The evaluation found that the project addressed the most urgent needs of the newly settled smallholders and made an effective contribution to their overall wellbeing. The newly created community organizations are providing a range of basic services, including education, health and credit. However, the evaluation also highlights the need for increased attention to sustainability issues, also in similar projects from the outset. The newly-created community organizations must have a legal status to be able to provide effective services on a sustainable basis. Community-managed credit funds are effective and easy to access, but they do not address the longer-term need for financial services. Attention must also be paid to ensuring sustainable access to, and use of, limited water resources through appropriate technology and an adequate institutional framework.