C4EDC4ED

Project Description

Picture: courtesy of E. Camargo

Background

In Sindh, Pakistan, we assist the Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) in the monitoring and evaluation of the Sindh Union Council and Community Economic Strengthening Support (SUCCESS) Programme to document its overall impact and effectiveness. SUCCESS is a project supported by the European Commission and aims at introducing local community driven development initiatives in rural areas of Sindh province.

Building on SUCCESS and the GoSindh’s UCBPRP, the EU along with national partners has launched a similar initiative (Balochistan Rural Development & Community Empowerment Programme) to be implemented in Balochistan, Pakistan.

South Asia is one of the most poverty stricken regions of the world and suffers from increasing inequalities and from extreme forms of social exclusion as well as huge infrastructure gaps. This high level of poverty exists despite the South Asian region experiencing one of the highest economic growth rates in the world with projection of increased economic growth rate of 7.6% in 2017 from 7% in 2015. To address extreme poverty and reduce inequality in developing and developed countries, inclusive growth is essential (OECD 2015). Number 8 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals declared in 2015 is to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment as well as decent work for all” (UN 2015).

Evaluation

Using a social mobilization approach through trainings, a community investment fund and insurance benefit, SUCCESS aims to reduce poverty in rural areas of eight districts of Sindh Province, thereby mobilizing and capacitating approximately 770,000 rural households. The program pays special attention to empowering women and seeks to increase poor households’ incomes by 30%, to diversify sources of income, to upgrade sustainable community infrastructures and productive assets, as well as to create a policy and budget framework for community-driven local development in Sindh province to be implemented from 2018 onward.

A rigorous monitoring and evaluation will be used to estimate the program’s impacts by tracking randomly selected households over five years. It will examine household poverty dynamics and provide further insights about the causes of chronic poverty. This will contribute to reducing the research gap in this field. Also, as the project proceeds, the changes in the lives of project beneficiaries will be documented to find what works, what does not work and why. In this way, these studies will not only inform mid-course project correction but will also inform other development organizations, the federal government, academia, civil society and the government of Sindh to design and implement effective poverty reduction strategies.

This project is complemented by an initiative that builds upon these community-based organizational structures to improve the local conditions in the villages focusing on Water, Immunization, Sanitation and Education (WISE). Communities are asked to develop action plans for these four WISE sectors, with subsequent monitoring and impact evaluations.

In addition, we support the development of a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework for the project “Balochistan Rural Development & Community Empowerment Programme” (BRDCEP). The program will be implemented by the EU along with the implementing partners National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP) and the Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN). BRDCEP builds upon SUCCESS and GoSindh’s UCBPRP and will be rolled in eight rural districts of Balochistan province. More specifically, our support includes the preparation of a common approach to undertake the baselines (methodology, indicators, targets, processes and tools) and an action research on poverty dynamics in Balochistan.