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This article is taken from the July 2000 Phatlalatsa newsletter

 

Evaluation of Rural Anti-Poverty Programme (RAP)

Jowie Maluaudzi describes the evaluation of RAP-85 just started by S&T.

David Everatt, Moagi Ntsime and Ross Jennings, partners at S&T, have accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge in evaluating Public Works Programmes in South Africa which they bring into this evaluation. David, Moagi and Ross played key roles in the evaluation of the Community Employment Programme (CEP) and subsequently the Community Based Public Works Programme (CBPWP), both in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO). As a result of the evaluations, there was a realignment of the CBPWP. The NDPW shifted from funding stand-alone projects in rural areas to providing clusters of projects that would lead to sustainable economic activities in rural areas, a process that required detailed targeting of poverty pockets. The NDPW initiated the Pre-Implementation Task Team (PITT) to map out the realignment of the programme and undertake targeting of poverty stricken areas. Moagi and David participated in the PITT process. Ross and Moagi have been serving on the National Programme Management Team providing monitoring and evaluation capacity and advice.

On the 19th of November 1997, government approved an allocation of R300m for Rural Anti-Poverty Programmes. An amount of R85m (28%) was allocated to the NDPW for job creation through infrastructure delivery in the rural areas. A directive from the Department of State Expenditure for the funds to be committed by March 1998 necessitated the adoption of a fast-track implementation process by the NDPW.

S&T has been commissioned by the NDPW to evaluate the implementation of the Rural Anti-Poverty Programme (RAP) 1998, specifically the effectiveness of the programme in light of the "fast-track" process. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the effectiveness of the fast-track process in achieving the objectives of the CBPWP which include community empowerment and the creation of sustainable livelihoods. We have adopted a multi-faceted research strategy to achieve this purpose.

A review of relevant literature including internal policy and discussion documents on realign-ment and fast-tracking, RAP progress reports and the programme closeout report. David and Jowie are responsible for this segment to be completed by the end of June 2000.

In depth interviews (IDIs) with key players in the implementation of RAP-85. The IDIs will facilitate open discussions on how the processes unfolded, problems experienced and successes. Conducted by Jowie and David, they will be completed within first two weeks of July.

A sample of workers in all three provinces will be drawn for the survey. A questionnaire will be designed to gather data on biographical, life circum-stances, experiences in the project, community empower-ment as well as knowledge and attitudes to issues like HIV/AIDS. The survey is scheduled for completion by the end of September 2000.

Case studies of a cluster in each of the three provinces will be conducted from the middle of July 2000. The aim of the case studies is to take a detailed look at a cluster, investigating all the processes and interactions amongst the various players in the programme and the commun-ity as well as empowerment and sustainability issues. Case studies are not representative of the general picture but provide detailed information and nuance that will enrich the research process, findings and recommendations.

An audit of projects in all clusters in the three provinces will form the last segment of the research strategy. The audit will collect data and visuals on the projects, the condition they are in and whether or not they are in use. The audit will be completed in the middle of September 2000,and will form the basis of an eletronic project mapping system.

For each of the segments a top-line report highlighting the main issues will be produced. A final report will consolidate reports from each segment and draw conclusions and recommend-ations for the NDPW.

 

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