Poverty Relief Programme: Briefing by Independent Development Trust

Social Development

13 November 2001
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
14 November 2001
POVERTY RELIEF PROGRAMME: BRIEFING BY INDEPENDENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST

Chairperson:
Mr. E. Saloojee

Documents handed out:
Slide Presentation on Poverty Relief Programme
Briefing Document on Poverty Relief Programme (Appendix)


SUMMARY
The IDT outlined the success of the organisation in distributing money. This was in contrast to the past, when a significant portion of the poverty relief budget was not spent. As a result of this, the question of where this money had gone now needed to be asked. The presentation carefully highlighted the objectives of the IDT, focusing on their role in supporting the provincial and national social development departments.

The successes, as well as the challenges facing the IDT, were also extensively dealt with in the presentation. It was concluded that the meeting had been very beneficial, although time constraints meant that some issues could not be dealt. It was agreed that in future all stakeholders attend such meetings and more time be made available.  

MINUTES
The CEO of IDT (Ms Lulu Gwagwa) spoke to the slide presentation (see document).

Discussion
Committee Members asked representatives of the IDT a number of questions:
- It was mentioned that R50 million was being spent annually on poverty alleviation. What impact was actually being made? How can poverty alleviation be maximised?
- The next question dealt with the issue of monitoring and capacity building. What training was actually being given to those suffering from poverty? Was capacity building actually happening?
Why did the Free State province only have a satellite centre rather than a fully-fledged IDT office?
What role could the Portfolio Committee members play in assisting to alleviate poverty? How could MPs advance the progress of the IDT?

IDT representatives gave the following responses:
- Impact in alleviating poverty had certainly been made. However, at this stage it was too early to evaluate the poverty relief programme (PRP) as it was running on a three-year cycle. It was noted that programmes needed to be evaluated at a micro rather than a macro level.
- Funding for capacity building was available at all levels. Furthermore, officers were being trained to ensure proper monitoring and evaluation of programmes.
- The fact that it was a satellite office did not necessarily mean that it was smaller or less equipped. For financial management and control purposes, it was often necessary to have a general manager who operated across provinces e.g. Northern and Western Cape.
- Members of the committee could ensure that communities knew about the funding opportunities available through the PRP. They could also assist councilors on the ground. The access to information and opportunities was mentioned as being very important especially in the deep rural areas.

Further questions asked were:
- Why are people not given reasons when their application for funding is rejected? Further, were the lists of projects accurate and reliable? Some projects listed by the IDT were now no longer sustainable, yet they were still on the list?
- Had the IDT done investigations into where there were gaps in the market for poverty relief projects? It was also suggested that exact guidelines be provided that explained how money could be accessed.
- Was there an overlapping of roles across provincial and national governments? Were roles properly clarified? Further, what was the nature of the support provided by the IDT?

Responses -
- A lot of effort had been spent on the development of an explicit criteria or set of guidelines to follow if funding was required. This process was now very transparent as it was developed from a local level.
- In terms of gaps in the market, the objective of the IDT was to create clustering projects. This would ensure that projects were complementary. This demanded cooperation with a number of departments to ensure the viability of the projects.
- It was recommended that members examined page six of the report. This page outlined the roles and responsibilities of the national and provincial departments. The IDT would assist at both provincial and national level. Regional IDT offices were in close contact with the provincial departments.

Further comments and questions included:
- In some rural areas IDT officers had never be seen despite increasing poverty.
- Were any efforts being made to identify projects for following year? Could unsuccessful projects be reversed?

Responses -
- The IDT was purposefully not visible as it provided support for various departments rather than dictated to them. In terms of capacity of the IDT, it was pointed out that with only 200 employees there was only so much that could be done. The lack of staff meant that only a supporting role could be provided.
- The issue of sustainability of projects was very complex. It is as much the responsibility of the community to ensure projects are sustainable. This is why the IDT supported a shift towards local development issues. The community and provincial departments need to be more prominent in the identification of projects.

Final comments and question from the committee:
- The IDT was criticised for only providing funding to established projects thereby neglecting the smaller more needy ones. The IDT should be very careful to ensure they did not alienate the very problem they were trying to solve.
- The lack of cooperation from commercial banks was identified as a major problem. What about community banks? Could they assist in ensuring projects were sustainable?

Final responses -
- The CEO assured the Committee that the IDT staff was passionate and committed to the alleviation of poverty. In many cases the IDT had gone beyond their contractual obligations to ensure poverty was dealt with. However, it was also acknowledged that the issue of poverty could not be addressed immediately.
- Relations with the Department of Social Development were good. The passion about alleviating poverty starts with the Minister who regularly visits rural areas to evaluate progress.
- Political pressure needed to be on commercial banks to ensure they were more cooperative. In reality community banks did not exist and little progress had been made in challenging the monopoly of the commercial banks.

Concluding remarks
The Chairperson concluded by saying that clearly more engagement was needed with the IDT and relevant provincial departments. The presence of all stakeholders at future meetings would allow for greater oversight at all levels.    

Appendix

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

REPORT ON THE POVERTY RELIEF PROGRAMME
 of the
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
and managed by the
INDEPENDENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST

1.         INTRODUCTION
The Portfolio Committee on Social Development requested a briefing by Independent Development Trust (IDT) on the Poverty Relief Programme (PRP) which the IDT administers on behalf of the Department of Social Development.

This document provides:
·           An overview of the IDT
·           Background of the PRP
·           Roles and Responsibilities of Partners
·           Disbursement patterns
·           Evaluation results
·           Achievements
·           Challenges
·           Conclusion

2.         OVERVIEW OF THE INDEPENDENT DEVELOPMENT TRUST

2.1        What is the IDT?
The Independent Development Trust (IDT) is a Schedule ll Public Entity established in 1990 and is governed by the Public Finance Management Act. The IDT accounts to Parliament through its Executive Authority, the Minister of Public Works, and the IDT's Board of Trustees is its Accounting Authority.

In terms of the Deed of Trust the mandate of the IDT is:

“ to use its resources, without regard to race, sex, creed, or ethnic origin, in ways, which in the opinion of the Trustees, will best serve to promote the development of disadvantaged people in the Republic of South Africa.�

Over the eleven years of its existence the IDT's role as a Development Agency has shifted from that of

·           grant-making to
·           programme implementation and to
·           development planning, integration and co-ordination.

However throughout its existence the IDT occupied a pioneering, innovative development management space in the sector. The pioneering activities pursued in 2001 are different to what the IDT pursued ten years ago. However, the IDT believes that it has to remain at the cutting-edge of development processes and push the boundaries. It positions the IDT to add value to the development theory, policies and practice.

2.2        What does the IDT do?
In the first six years of its existence (1990-1996) the IDT was pursuing what could be termed consumptive-driven development. Apartheid government prior to 1990 had no commitment to the development needs of the disadvantaged majority in the country. It established the IDT as a temporary grant making agency with a grant of R2 billion.  Between 1990 and 1998 the IDT spent R 2,8 billion on approximately 8 800 Projects.

However with the ushering in of democratic governance in 1994 and the priority given to meeting the basic needs of the poorest of the poor, the IDT shifted its emphasis to development facilitation, which could be termed generative development, resulting in sustainable and incremental outcomes. Government redefined the mandates of development agencies and the IDT assumed the role of supporting government in the implementation of its development policies and programmes. Since 1998 the IDT has managed new business to the value of R 720 million as a programme implementation agency

The IDT can thus confidently state that its principal Purpose, or the reason for its existence, is:
“to make measurable difference in the levels of poverty and underdevelopment through delivering innovative and sustainable development programmes, in partnership with others.�

The IDT's Mission is:
“The IDT, with strategic partners, will enable poor communities to access resources, and to recognise and unlock their potential to continuously improve the quality of their lives�


The IDT has designed a Development Framework, which includes a development management cycle, the instrument which guides its operations.

The core business of the IDT is:

·           development programme management
·           leveraging resources
·           institutional and capacity building

Hence, the primary service the IDT offers is its development expertise and technical capacity, and the ability to operate at scale at a rapid rate, with depth into the remotest areas.

2.3.       HOW DOES THE IDT FUNCTION
The Head Office of the IDT is in Pretoria and it provides direction and support to its regional and satellite offices. The Regional Offices are located in the Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Northern Province, North West and the Western Cape, while the satellite offices are situated in Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and in the Free State Province.

The IDT has four business units:
·           Programme Management
·           Corporate Affairs
·           Finance and Information Technology
·           Human resources.

The Programme Management Unit is the largest and is responsible for the effective and efficient functioning of its Regional offices, the pulse of the organisation.



Programme

Department

Value

Community Production Centres

Public Works

R28,6 mil

Clean and Green

Public Works

R12,6 mil

HIV/AIDS Infrastucture

Public Works

R10 mil

Water Sanitation

Public Works

R3 mil

Youth for Environmental Awareness (Y4EA)

Public Works

R5 mil

School Building (Phase 1)
School Building Phase (2)

Education Department

R58,8 mil
R88 mil

Working for Water

Water Affairs and Forestry

R30,9 mil

Local Economic Development

Provincial and Local Government

R4 mil

Integrated Rural Development Programme

Provincial and Local Government

(Under determined)


Currently the IDT manages the programmes for the government.  The IDT uses its resources to support government with planning, implementation and monitoring of its development and poverty relief programmes.

3.         BACKGROUND
The Department of Social Development (DSD) approached the Independent Development Trust (IDT) in January 1999 to provide support in disbursing funds in the Poverty Relief Programme (PRP). Since then the disbursement function of the IDT has been expanded to include programme management support to the Department.

In April 2000 the Portfolio Committee on Social Development requested the IDT to present a Status Report on the PRP.  This report will therefore focus on progress made and developments from April 2000 to date.

4.         ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The key role players in PRP are the National Department of Social & Development, Provincial Department of Social & Development and the IDT. Each has distinct set of roles and responsibilities.

4.1.       National Department of Social Development
·           Policy development and implementation
·           Solicit funds and make them available for the programme
·           Overall management and accountability for the programme
·           National monitoring and evaluation of the programme
·           Approve all projects to be funded
·           Identify National Projects to be funded
·           Approve payments to national projects to which the IDT to has to direct funds.

4.2.       Provincial Departments of Social Development
·           Receive business plans developed by projects at district levels and assessed by Regional Offices.
·           Develop provincial business plans for the PRP
·           Identify Provincial Projects and recommend those to the National Department for funding
·           Monitoring and reporting on provincial projects
·           Approve payments to provincial projects which authorize IDT to pay

4.3.       Independent Development Trust
·           Receive all funds for the programme and maintain proper books of account.
·           Capture all projects approved by DSD for funding and maintain the database.
·           Develop systems to ensure that funds reach the targeted beneficiaries.

·           Disburse funds as authorized by either the Provincial or National Department.
·           Provide regular reports to DSD relating to disbursement of funds and possible risk areas.
·           Provide programme management support to DSD.
·           Provide support to NGO's, CBO's and Faith Based Organisations that are involved in the programme through the Department.
·           Linking the Department with donor agencies that provide expertise on the development content, monitoring and evaluation, policy development and enhancement such as United Nations Development Programme and International Labour Organisation.

While the IDT support the DSD on the development of processes and procedures to manage the programme, it is not involved in project implementation. It is therefore not possible for the IDT to visit all the projects funded by the programme. This is the role of Provincial Departments.

5.         PROGRESS ON DISBURSEMENTS TO DATE
The following is a summary indicating the salient points relating to the funds allocated and disbursed to projects.

5.1        Programme Phases
The PRP is currently divided into four phases based on the funds allocated for each financial year. This division is only for administration purposes as the funds are rolled over at the end of each year and effectively are the allocation for the current financial year. The allocation for each phase is as follows:



Financial Year

Amount Allocated

Accumulated Balance

1998/99

R203 million

R216, 0 million

1999/00

R40 million

R42, 2 million

2000/01
2001/02


R120 million
R50 million

R122, 0 million
R50, 6 million

Total

R413 million

R430,86 million


5.2        Funds Received
The DSD transfers funds to IDT in tranches to ensure sufficient cash flow for disbursements. The amount transferred to date for each phase is as follows:



PRP Phase

Amount Transferred

Date

1998/9


Sub-total

R  81,272,002
R110,000,000
R  11,727,998
R203,000,000

08/04/99
19/10/99
20/12/00

1999/2000

Sub-total

R14,000,000
R25,950,002
R39,950,002

30/09/99
09/05/01

2000/1





Sub-total

R  10,000.000
R    6,000,000
R    6,600,000
R  59,400,000
R  32,305,000
R  11,000,000
R125,305,000

16/11/00
28/11/00
22/12/00
16/01/01
16/01/0/1
27/02/01

2001/2

Sub-total


R29,198,000
R14,599,000
R43,979,000

11/07/01
23/10/01

TOTAL

R412,052,000



6.         Disbursements

It takes the IDT systems of processing payments three days after the receipt of approved payment authorization forms to credit beneficiaries.  The tables below indicate progress made in disbursing funds for each phase of the PRP. The tables show the amounts allocated to each province as well as the national department, the number of projects funded to date, the amount and percentage paid and the balance. The amounts refer only to the funds allocated for funding projects and not the overhead allocations.

6.1.       1998/9 R203 Million PRP

The table below indicates that 95% of the funds allocated to 1 975 projects has been disbursed. The outstanding small amounts are because of bank detail problems and outstanding reports from some of the national projects. For all practical purposes disbursements to projects in this phase of the PRP are complete.




Province

No. of projects

Amount allocated

Amount paid

Balance

%paid

Eastern Cape

652

16,319,381

15,970,507

348,874

98%

Free State

142

7,864,804

7,776,036

88,768

99%

Gauteng

109

8,795,067

8,635,227

159,840

98%

KZN

389

21,463,657

20,608,575

855,082

96%

Mpumalanga

135

9,385,871

9,263,571

122,300

99%

North West

117

8,105,470

8,093,372

12,098

100%

North. Cape

121

10,428,550

10,371,189

57,361

99%

North. Prov.

165

16,073,457

16,053,457

20,000

100%

West. Cape

106

11,581,500

11,581,500

0

100%

National

39

65,201,067

58,048,647

7,152,420

89%

Total

1,975

175,218,824

166,402,081

8,816,743

95%



6.2.       1999/2000 R40 Million PRP

The table below indicates that 98% of the funds committed to 196 projects in this phase of the PRP has been disbursed.



Province

No. of projects captured

Amount committed

Amount paid

Balance

% Paid

Eastern Cape

30

1,793,596

1,748,596

45,000

97%

Free State

11

2,452,000

2,452,000

0

100%

Gauteng

12

1,000,000

1,000,000

0

100%

KwaZulu Natal

18

2,866,610

2,866,610

0

100%

Mpumalanga

31

3,159,748

3,019,748

140,000

96%

North West

21

2,014,777

2,008,420

6,357

100%

Northern Cape

30

3,602,000

3,602,000

0

100%

North. Prov.

21

2,177,000

2,177,000

0

100%

Western Cape

7

545,606

510,964

34,642

94%

National

15

3,400,000

3,261,864

138,136

96%

TOTAL

196

23,011,337

22,647,202

364,135

98%



6.3.       2000/1 R120 Million PRP


The table below shows that 663 projects have been funded in this phase and 92% of the funds allocated to projects has been disbursed.



Province

No. of projects captured

Amount committed

Amount paid

Balance

% Paid

Eastern Cape

26

14,838,900

14,838,900

0

100%

Free State

50

7,823,857

7,823,857

0

100%

Gauteng

77

11,842,340

11,672,340

170,000

99%

KwaZulu Natal

203

17,273,120

17,273,120

0

100%

Mpumalanga

56

8,077,275

7,933,275

144,000

98%

North West

110

6,173,000

5,963,722

209,278

97%

Northern Cape

18

5,001,000

5,001,000

0

100%

North. Prov.

78

11,953,499

11,953,499

0

100%

Western Cape

8

7,899,060

6,909,349

989,711

87%

National

40

42,830,941

33,992,723

8,838,218

79%

TOTAL

666

133,712,992

123,361,785

10,351,207

92%


6.4.       2001/2 R50 Million PRP

Since the current  financial year (2001/2002), the PRP is managed through a 3 year programmatic approach. Projects are selected to meet the following seven objectives:

1.         Development of household food security through the establishment of food production clusters in
communities, with a particular focus on households affected by HIV/AIDS.
2.         Provision and maintenance of social support structures in communities where the prevalence of
HIV/AIDS is high.

3.         Creation of skills and employment opportunities so as to reduce levels of youth criminality, whilst
encouraging recreation.
4.         Support for income generation activities of rural women.
5.         Support to community-based childcare initiatives that capitalise on the economic and social
capabilities of the aged.
7.         Support to initiatives that integrate the capacities of the disabled with the Poverty Relief Programme.
8.         Developing social finance capacity so as to address poverty at grassroots.

The following is the allocation of funds to Provinces for each objective for the 2001/2 financial year: 



Province

Food
Security


HIV /
AIDS


Youth

Women's Co-Op

Aged

Disabled

Social Finance

TOTAL

E. Cape

2,116,800

500,000

1,000,000

2,000,000

2,000,000

-

-

7,616,800

F. State

982,800

1,000,000

1,000,000

1,000,000

1,000,000

-

-

4,982,800

Gauteng

378,000

500,000

1,000,000

300,000

300.000

-

-

2,478,000

KZN

2,116,800

1,000,000

1,000,000

2,000,000

2,000,000

-

-

8,116,800

Mp. Prov.

1,058,400

1,000,000

1,000.000

1,000,000

1,000,000

-

-

5,058,400

N. West

982,000

500,000

1,000,000

1,000,000

1,000,000

-

-

4,482,800

N. Cape

907,200

150,000

1,000,000

300,000

300,000

-

-

2,657,200

N. Prov.

2,041,200

200,000

1,000,000

2,000,000

2,000,000

-

-

7,241,200

W. Cape

288,000

150,000

1,000,000

400,000

400,000

-

-

2,238,000

National

-

-

-

-

-

1,500,000

4,020,000

5,520,000

TOTAL

10,871,200

5,000,000

9,000,000

10,000,000

10,000,000

1,500,000

4,020,000

50,391,200



At the time of preparing this report (09-Nov-01) the IDT had concluded payment to three clusters.  The process flow of approving business plans, which meets all the criteria of the PRP, from District, Regional, Provincial to National level is time consuming, however, there is evidence that the first tranche will be paid by end of March 2001 to all approved clusters.

(Attached find comprehensive lists of project locations for each of the provinces)

7.         Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (ME&R)
7.1.       Development of the ME&R system
The IDT  and the Department of Social Development (national and provincial) jointly designed and developed a comprehensive ME&R system for the PRP.  The system tracks financial inputs measures, objective-based outputs and outcomes and generates monthly, quarterly and annual reports at different levels i.e. cluster (entity), district, provincial and national levels.  The system has also been technologically developed on database.  Currently, the system is being installed in provincial and district offices, and the capacity of department officials to implement the system is being enhanced.  Baseline data, as a point of reference, against which change will be measured is being collected.  Provincial departments have appointed Development Workers/ Community Liaison Officers to monitor, report and support project clusters. They will be visiting each project cluster at least once a month.

7.2.       Mid-term assessment
As part of the monitoring and reporting process, a mid-term assessment of the 1998/9 R203 million projects was carried out during May/June 2000. A comprehensive report of this assessment is available from the DSD. The following were some of the major findings of the mid-term review nationally:

Project location




Project types



            Key:     AGRI - Agriculture (Gardening, Poultry, etc)
                        ARTS - Arts and Culture (Beadwork, etc.)
                        CLOT - Clothing (Sewing, Knitting, etc.)
                        EDUC - Education and Training

                        FOOD - Food Industry (Baking, Juice making, etc.)
                        MANF - Manufacturing (Brick making, Carpentry, etc.)
                        MULT - Multiple Objectives (e.g. Gardening and Sewing)
                        OTHR - Other
                        RETL - Retail (Spaza shops, etc.)
                        SERV - Service Provision (Catering, Cleaning, etc.)

The following are the top two project types per province:
·           Eastern Cape                            Agriculture                     Clothing
·           Free State                                             Agriculture                     Clothing
·           Gauteng                                                Multiple             Clothing
·           KwaZulu-Natal                           Agriculture                     Multiple
·           Mpumalanga                              Agriculture                     Clothing
·           Northern Cape                           Clothing                        Manufacturing
·           Northern Province                                   Agriculture                     Manufacturing
·           North West                                Agriculture                     Manufacturing
·           Western Cape                           Clothing                        Agriculture

Employment
25 956 Employment opportunities, excluding the Social Financing Programme, were created by the PRP projects.  Of these 16 800 were women, 6 100 for young people, 3 050 for men, 1 600 beneficiaries belong to the disabled sector (this figure did not take into consideration the R20 million allocation to the South African Federal Council for Disabled persons). However the IDT and the Department long-term plan is to look at this component in terms of the sustainability of the jobs created by the programme.


The employment opportunities are spread across a range of sectors:  38% are in Agriculture, 19% in clothing, 18% are of multi-purpose nature, 9% are in manufacturing, 7% are in food industries, 3% are in arts and craft, 3% in education and training, 2% are in services provision and 1% belongs to the retail industry and other sectors.


A significant number of projects (747) reported that they had child care support for project members. This amounts to 44% of the total number of projects.

8.         ACHIEVEMENTS
It is only through a comprehensive evaluation of the PRP that specific achievements of the programme can be assessed. However, despite major challenges that are experienced in the implementation of this programme, the following can be mentioned as achievements:

8.1        Managing Development Projects
Prior to the availability of the Poverty Relief Funds, 90% of the departments budget was allocated to Social Security for 3 million beneficiaries.  During that period the DSD was mainly involved in their traditional welfare role of providing grants to the targeted groups. Since the PRP there has been a major shift in focus within the Department from providing welfare grants to funding projects aimed at helping the poorest of the poor to exploit local resources to help themselves. There is still a long way before this goal is achieved but the PRP has enabled the Department to make a solid start. The National Department now has a
dedicated unit that is capacitated to manage development programmes and the challenge is to replicate this at the provincial and district levels.

8.2        Benefits to the Poor
Over the last two years, (as reflected in the tables) an amount of R312 million has been paid by the DSD to about 2 800 projects throughout the country. The majority of the beneficiaries of this funding are the rural poor who would not have had access to these funds, previously. A key difference between DSD and other programmes funded by other departments is that DSD targets the ultra poor, those who are unemployed and not reached by other programmes.  The focus is on human development, “putting people first�.  Hence PRP programme is designed to start where the people are at, creating opportunities for realizing their potential and that of their environment.  Since the DSD targets members of the community who are not reached by other initiatives, this is a major achievement of the PRP.

The findings of the mid-term assessment of the provincial projects in the 1998/9 R203 million phase of the PRP, for example, showed that 70% of these projects are located in rural areas and that about 22 000 people have some employment. About 50% of these projects were shown to be sustainable or have a reasonable potential of sustaining themselves. The figures for all projects is obviously higher than indicated by the assessment as 43% of the funds in that phase were allocated to national projects that were not part of the analysis.

8.3        Improved Institutional Arrangements
Over the past two years the DSD has established structures and developed procedures for the PRP that never existed before. These include dedicated units and staff for effective monitoring of the projects, refining the objectives and criteria for the programme, developing a comprehensive ME&R system, and outlining procedures. In addition, a well-developed system to disburse funds to projects is in place.  These processes will enable more accurate targeting and reporting on the PRP. The development and institutionalization of these structures takes time and effort and its existence is  thus an achievement for the programme.

8.4.       Plans for the Next Three Years
In March 2000 the Department undertook a rigorous planning process for the PRP that culminated in a three-year business plan.  The business planning enables the Department at district level to establish clusters of projects that have complimentary developmental impact as opposed to disjointed sets of individual projects.  This is the first time that such a plan was developed for the programme and will facilitate the integrated development of the next phases.

9.         CHALLENGES
As discussed above, there has been significant efforts to address these challenges but some are beyond the influence of the PRP management team.

9.1        Targeting
Conceptually the programme has specific target groups including rural poverty pockets and vulnerable groups (e.g. poor women, disabled, youth, HIV/AIDS, street children, aged and sex workers). As in most development programmes, to reach these targeted groups at practical level, remains a challenge. One of the benefits of the ME&R system has been the development of clear objectives and indicators for the PRP. This will make it easier to develop criteria for project selection and therefore more accurate targeting.

9.2        Disbursement Time Frames
The time frames allowed to disburse the funds to projects are not realistic within a developmental context. Normally, the disbursement of funds to projects depends on progress in implementation which in turn is dependent on the nature of the programme / projects, capacity of beneficiaries and other factors outside the control of the programme. The requirement to disburse funds on fixed tranches to all the projects will therefore need to be reviewed as monitoring of projects becomes more efficient.

9.3        Funding Cycles
It is an accepted fact that development is a long process that cannot be aligned to deadlines like end of financial year. This invariably leads to impossible timeframes and puts more emphasis on spending the money than on development itself. The net effect is that the projects and programmes cannot utilise the funds effectively and responsibly. A multi-year funding programme, linked to progress at project level, will go a long way to meet this challenge.

9.4        Monitoring and Evaluation
To properly manage a programme like the PRP it is important to have a comprehensive ME&R system from the start. The absence of a long-term ME&R system has been a major challenge in the PRP. As a result it has been very difficult to ascertain the progress made by the projects on a continuous basis. As indicated above a ME&R this system is now in place but the challenge is continuous implementation, integrity of the data, capacity for analysis and interpretation, and ultimately using results to influence programmatic and policy shifts where indicated
9.5        Dedicated Staff
The PRP is a huge and complex programme that needs dedicated staff to implement. In the provinces especially, most of the staff involved with the programme have other responsibilities. This makes it difficult to monitor projects continuously with the result that problems are not detected until they develop into crises. In addition there are inadequate resources e.g. vehicles dedicated to the monitoring of PRP projects.

Most provinces have just appointed Development Workers/Community Liaison Officers who will be dedicated to the programme. While this is a step in the right direction, indications are that these are very few to cover the large number of projects. There is also no indication that vehicles will be available to transport these Development Workers.  

9.6        Cooperation of Commercial Banks
One of the major challenges in the programme is to keep project bank accounts open for the duration of the funding. Most Banks have a policy of closing accounts that have not been active for some time. Project members, maybe due to the distances or their own capacity, do not make sufficient transactions to keep their bank accounts opened. Sometimes they withdraw all the funds before the next tranche is deposited. The result of all this is that every time a deposit is made the old account is inoperable and a new one has to be opened. This process sometimes takes months to complete, delaying disbursement of funds to projects.

Means to address this is a combination of sensitizing Banks to the developmental environment facing the country, building the capacity of project members to manage their finances better and closer monitoring of projects so that funds are deposited before project bank accounts are exhausted.

9.7        Post Implementation Support
Periodic visits to projects of up to two years are crucial to ensure that sustainability issues do not get lost and that future programmes are able to benefit from lessons learnt. The long term development impact of most programmes is realized after the projects have been handed over to beneficiaries to run on their own, without funding support from the Department.

10.        CONCLUSION
Initially the IDT was viewed as an agency with disbursement capacity that was more efficient than that of the government.  The emphasis on speed of disbursement overlooked the capacity of the IDT to enhance the developmental outcomes of the programme.  However, it can be reported that, as the partnership has reached maturity, there is greater appreciation and evidence of the value adding by the IDT to the PRP.  These include:

·           Complimentarity
The IDT brings particular development management experience, rooted in practice, and resources.  The Department brings a different kind of development experience, authority and resources.  Besides the product and services which this complimentarity of competences extends to clients, it is also of mutual benefit to both the IDT and the department.

·           Programme Management Support
The IDT has appointed and seconded highly qualified and competent Programme Managers at its own cost to provide support to the national Department.

·           Capacity Enhancement
IDT has engaged ME&R specialist who is currently providing training to the Department officials in terms of the implementation of the tool.  In addition the IDT's Legal Unit is providing training to the National and Provincial Department on different types of legal entities relevant to community structures.

·           Programme Teams
The IDT has established dedicated teams at its national and regional offices who bring in a broader developmental approach.  The teams further provide comprising experts in Programme Management Development, Development Planning, Agricultural Sciences and the like.  The collective competency of the team is availed to the department.

One of the most important factors which augers well for the partnership between the Department and the IDT is the complimentarity of its mission statements.  The White Paper on Social Welfare proposes a dramatic paradigm shift from the entrenched model of residual Welfare to Developmental social welfare, and its mission is:

“To serve and build a self-reliant nation in partnership with all stakeholders through integrated social welfare system which maximizes its existing potential and which is equitable, sustainable, accessible, people-centred and developmental�

Whereas the mission of the IDT is:
“The IDT, with strategic partners,  will enable poor communities to access resources,  and to recognize and unlock their potential to continuously improve the quality of their lives.�

For as long as those charged with managing the partnership focuses on the common organisational commitment to enhance the quality of life of the poor and the most disadvantaged, the partnership between DSD and IDT will continue to make a difference.

[PMG Ed note: Some graphs may not be viewable on the web]



Audio

No related

Documents

No related documents

Present

  • We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Share this page: