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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    When do communities know best? UNICEF's search for relevant social indicators in Zimbabwe.

    Kararach G

    Development in Practice. 2004 Jun; 14(4):569-573.

    Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are needed by all development interventions in order to document their output and outcomes. Once a set of goals has been established in response to a development ‘problem’, a corresponding set of indicators (i.e. variables or information) will also be identified in order to review progress towards those goals. In Africa, the so-called ‘expert’ evaluators—those who see M&E as their professional calling—have dominated the process of selecting social indicators. Unfortunately, this domination has given rise to sporadic and unreliable social data for M&E purposes facing every agency involved in development work in Africa. Zimbabwe is no exception. This Practical Note tells the story of UNICEF Zimbabwe’s search for relevant and reliable indicators based on solid data. The guiding philosophy in this effort is the belief that local communities themselves are among the many agencies involved in implementing development programmes—in the sense that they always seek ways of tackling whatever problems they face. These communities must therefore be active participants in the process of selecting indicators. The paper will first discuss the difficulty in establishing relevant data and indicators in the context of Zimbabwe, a task which is now an urgent priority given the dual problems of HIV/ AIDS and a declining economy. It is generally believed that these two problems have been responsible for the reversal of social gains made immediately after independence—hence the need to know exactly what is going on. The paper will then highlight recent attempts by UNICEF Zimbabwe—together with its partners—to establish good and reliable information sources so that not only can it monitor and evaluate the various impacts of its programmes but also the social environment of children. In part, the pressure for community-generated indicators has also been driven by the shift in UNICEF’s approach to its work—an approach underpinned by human rights principles. The final part of the paper discusses the challenges that UNICEF and its partners have faced and continue to struggle with. It draws some lessons learned and points to what more could be done to improve the qualities of social indicators. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    A framework for evaluating policy adjustment programs: lessons from a cross-country evaluation.

    Branson WH; Jayarajah C

    In: Evaluation and development: proceedings of the 1994 World Bank conference, edited by Robert Picciotto and Ray C. Rist. Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1995. 61-75. (World Bank Operations Evaluation Study)

    This paper presents a macroeconomic framework for evaluating the effects of policy-based adjustment programs, with an illustration from a recent World Bank structural and sectoral adjustment lending evaluation, and offers guidelines on the design of conditionality. The framework is designed for situations in which an estimated model of the economy is not available. It is basically a version of Robert Mundell's policy assignment model, which assigns policy instruments to targets following the principle of comparative advantage. The paper focuses on a cross-country application of the framework and begins with a discussion of the assignment model. The example, which draws from World Bank experience in adjustment lending in 55 countries, strongly indicates that when a macro framework is introduced early in the design of an economic adjustment program and decisions on policy are guided by the framework, the policy instruments are more likely to have their intended impact and their results are more likely to be sustainable. This paper also includes a general discussion on the design of adjustment programs, including a section on the structure of loan conditionalities.
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  3. 3

    A comparative analysis of CCCD project health care financing activities.

    Dunlop DW; Evlo K

    Arlington, Virginia, John Snow [JSI], Resources for Child Health [REACH], 1988 Sep. [8], 99, [31] p. (USAID Contract No. DPE-5927-C-00-5068-00)

    Building upon smallpox and measles immunization campaigns originally supported by USAID, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization, the African region Combatting Childhood Communicable Diseases (CCCD) Project began providing immunizations, oral rehydration therapy for children with diarrhea, and malaria prophylaxis services in 1982. The project was approved in September, 1981, for spending of $47 million through fiscal 1988, and was designed to be implemented through existing publicly operated health service delivery systems with recipient CCCD project countries helping to finance recurrent costs and providing human resources for project implementation. Accordingly, almost all country project agreements were written to ensure that country governments would provide financial support for activities through direct budget allocations, user fees, or some combination of the 2. Regular analyses of service provision were also agreed upon. The development and implementation of user fees have taken place, but the overall theoretical financial strategy has yet to be met in any country project. This document discusses financing achievements and what more is needed to ensure longer term project financial sustainability. Sections review country-specific agreements to spell out original USAID/country terms on financing components; consider the capacity of CCCD project governments to finance recurrent costs in their respective macroeconomic contexts; present highlights of a review of CCCD project financing activities; summarize an evaluation of alternative health financing options; give conclusions of analyses on the financial sustainability of CCCD project activity; and make recommendations for future USAID CCCD project support with respect to financing and economics.
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  4. 4

    The role of the World Bank in shaping third world population policy.

    Sai FT; Chester LA

    In: Population policy: contemporary issues, edited by Godfrey Roberts. New York, New York/London, England, Praeger, 1990. 179-91.

    The primary role of the World Bank is to assist Third World governments in the economic and social development process. Given the World Bank's view that reductions in fertility and mortality will lead to improvements in productivity, GNP growth, and maternal-child health, its population activities are focused on encouraging governments to adopt fertility decline as a national development objective and on providing loans for implementing population programs. The Bank's sector work, including country economic reports and population sector analyses, has been most ambitious in countries where there was no population policy or program, especially sub-Saharan African countries. Even in pronatalist countries, this sector work has been instrumental in leading to an open discussion of population issues. In other countries, such as Indonesia, the Bank's population sector work has been instrumental in helping governments to develop and implement a population program. Through the World Bank's access to the highest levels of government and its links to a wide range of ministries, it is in a position to influence governments by providing information about the seriousness of the population problem. In Africa, this type of dialogue has been facilitated through a series of regional senior policy and management-level seminars. The Bank is further able to shape policy development through its involvement in project identification and implementation. In recent years, Bank-funded projects have placed greater emphasis on management, institution building, demand-generation activities, and involvement of the private sector in service delivery. In the area of research, the Bank's current priority is the internal efficiency of alternative policy and program strategies. Evaluations have identified the policy dealogue that links population issues with other aspects of development as the World Bank's most effective role.
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  5. 5

    Community participation in development projects: the World Bank experience.

    Paul S

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1987 Feb. v, 37 p. (World Bank Discussion Papers 6)

    This paper reviews the experience of World Bank projects with community participation in the urban housing, health, and irrigation sectors. The analysis is based on a sample of 40 projects with potential for community participation and 10 successful projects without such community involvement. For the purposes of this review, community participation was defined as an active process with the following objectives: empowerment, building beneficiary capacity, increasing project effectiveness improving project efficiency, and project cost sharing. Community participation was introduced in 38% of the projects studied to increase effectiveness, but only 25% were able to implement it. 48% of the projects planned community participation for efficiency purposes, but only 35% translated it into specific activities. Cost sharing was the objective of 48% of the projects, but again, only 10% achieved some measure of success. Empowerment and capacity building emerged as relatively less important objectives in World Bank Projects. The primary organizational devices used in Bank projects to elicit community participation were user groups, community workers, and field extension workers of the implementing agency. User groups were formed mostly in irrigation projects; health projects relied primarily on outreach workers. The full potential of community participation could not be realized in some of these projects due to technological gaps, poor extension and supervision, lack of an intergrated set of serves, and an inability to implement critical project policies. Overall, it is suggested that community participation is an appropriate strategy when project objectives include empowerment and capacity building, the design of the project services calls for interaction among beneficiaries as a basis for identifying their needs, implementation of the project demands frequent dialogue and negotiation among beneficiaries, and users can manage a part of the project operations.
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  6. 6

    UNESCO/IPDC Regional Seminar on the Media and the African Family, Livingstone, Zambia, 6-10 January 1986. Report.

    UNESCO. International Programme for the Development of Communication

    [Unpublished] 1986 Jan. v, 63 p.

    A seminar was planned and conducted by UNESCO's Population Division during January 1986 to promote increased media attention to issues which affect family stability and welfare. Especially important are the social, economic, and health problems created by high rates of population growth, urbanization, and migration. The seminar intended to give participants an opportunity to: examine the changing characteristics and emergin problems of the African family; review and appraise both past and current efforts on the part of the media to promote understanding of the interrelationships between socioeconomic conditions and family welfare, composition, stability, and size; and develop plans to increase the involvement and effectiveness of the media in promoting understanding of these interrelationships and in enabling families to make decisions and take action to enhance their welfare and stability. This report of the seminar is presented in 2 sections. The 1st section presents the participants' review of the changing nature of the African family over recent decades and the socioeconomic and sociocultural problems which have emerged as a consequence of these changes. Additionally, the 1st section reviews the extent to which communication systems in the region have tried to deal with the population related issues which affect family welfare. A "Communication Plan of Action" is proposed by the participants as a logical outcome of their 2 analyses and as a synthesis of their recommendations for the manner in which communication systems in the region must develop in order to meet ongoing and future population-family life changes. The Plan of Action identifies the following strategies as necessary to realize the increased involvement of the media in family issues and problems: institutionalizing population family life content within the curricula of media training institutions within the region; intensifying preservice and inservice training of media personnel to enable them to deal effectively with the demographic, social, and economic issues which impinge upon family welfare; highlighting population family life communication matters; ensuring that research on population family life issues be widely disseminated to media personnel and media based organizations; sensitizing political and administrative decisionmakers to population family life issues so that media communication can be supported and opportunities for media coverage can be extended; emphasizing in national development plans the importance of the media in generating public awareness of and response to the constraints placed upon national development and improved family welfare by rapid population growth and large-scale urban migration; and encouraging the involvement of community organizations in media programs. The 2nd section of the report includes the participants examination of the communication planning process.
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  7. 7

    United Nations Children's Fund: report of the Executive Board (15-26 April 1985).

    UNICEF. Executive Board

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1985. v, 58 p. (Economic and Social Council Official Records, 1985. Supplement No. 10; E/1985/31; E/ICEF/1985/12)

    The major decisions of the UN Children's Fund Executive Board in their 1985 session were to: approve several new program recommendations and endores a major emergency assistance program for several African countries; approve initiatives to accelerate the implementation of child survival and development actions, particularly towards the goal of achieving universal immunization of children against 6 major childhood diseases by 1990; adopt a comprehensive policy framework for UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) programs concerning women; approve UNICEF revised budget estimates for 1984-85 and budget estimates for 1986-87; and make a number of decisions on ways to improve the administration and the role of the Board. The Board members both reported on and heard evidence of the encouraging results of recent efforts to implement national child survival and development programs. Reports of the successful immunization campaigns in Burkina Faso, Colombia, El Salvador, and Nigeria were welcomed, along with the news that half a million children were saved during the year through the use of oral rehydration therapy. Stronger efforts were encouraged to improve results in the areas of breastfeeding and growth monitoring. Implementation issues in connection with child survival and development actions were a continuing focus of Board attention during the session. The accelerated implementation of child survival and development actions was accorded the highest priority in approving the medium-term plan for 1984-88. The Board also adopted a resolution that sought to draw the attention of world leaders, during their observance of the 40th anniversary of the UN, to the importance of reaffirming their commitment to accelerate the implementation of the child survival and development resolution and realizing universal immunization by 1990. Delegations commended the results of the World Health Organization/UNICEF joint nutrition support program but noted that malnutrition among women and children appeared to be increasing. Water supply and sanitation activities were encouraged, and the Board stressed that those actions should be linked with health and hygiene education. The Board endorsed the report on recent UNICEF activities in Africa. Many delegations spoke in support of the increased aid to Africa. Major emphasis was given to linking emergency responses with ongoing UNICEF programs. The Board approved new multi-year commitments from general resources totalling $303,053,422 for 28 country and interregional programs and noted 32 projects totaling $223,215,000 to be funded from specific-purpose contributions. The Board stressed the importance of ensuring that child survival and development actions were integrated with continuing efforts in other of UNICEF action. The Board approved a commitment of $252,550,443 for the budget for the biennium 1986-87.
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