2012 Botswana: Iplegeng Evaluation
Author: Dr. N. H. Fidzani (Team Leader), Dr K. Nthomang, Mr Khaufelo R. Lekobane and Ms. Motshabi L. Tebape.
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The Government of Botswana and UNICEF initiated a process that sought to evaluate the Public Works Programme commonly known as Ipelegeng to:
1: Assess and explain the relevance of the Ipelegeng Programme (IP). To what extent is it an appropriate strategy for poverty reduction within the social development of Botswana?
2: Assess and explain the effectiveness of the Ipelegeng Programme
3: Assess and explain the efficiency of the Ipelegeng programme and the capacities of agencies responsible for it.
4: Assess and explain the impact of the Ipelegeng Programme, its implementation modalities, in relation to other government programmes or initiatives
5: On the basis of the findings, make and justify recommendations and adjustments to the programme and to policy, institutional, planning, budgeting and implementation arrangements that delivers it
6: Make and justify recommendations on alternative strategies that would be more effective and efficient in achieving the poverty reduction objectives of the Ipelegeng Programme
7: Provide plans, budgets and timelines for the recommended actions The review of Ipelegeng employed both the quantitative and qualitative research
The objectives of the evaluation were:
1. To make recommendations on measures that will ensure viability and sustainability of the programme
2. To put together a report outlining the effectiveness and efficiency, relevance, success and draw backs of the Ipelegeng activities with regards to poverty alleviation
3. To provide an outline of strategies to determine future manpower needs
4. To make recommendations on the way forward for Ipelegeng within the context of a broader social development framework
5. To make recommendations on cost effective enhancement
The review of Ipelegeng employed both the quantitative and qualitative research designs. An interviewer administered survey questionnaire was administered on 500 Ipelegeng participants whose ages ranged from 18 years and upwards in all the selected research sites. The survey provided quantitative information regarding household socioeconomic status and relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability aspects of the Ipelegeng Programme.. In addition, semi-structured key informant and focus group discussions (FGDs) guides were utilized for qualitative data collection.
These methods were used to collect data from both the key informants and the beneficiaries of Ipelegeng. In-depth interviews and FGDs were used to solicit views, opinions and perceptions regarding the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of the Ipelegeng Programme. Other methods included observations, document review, (districts and national quarterly and annual reports on the Ipelegeng Programme, budget as well as regional and international literature on Public Works Programmes) and any other relevant material obtained from the Ministry of Local Government (MLG) and Office of the President (OP) such as directives and savingrams.
Findings and Conclusions:
Literature review on Public Works Programmes (PwPs) revealed that the best feature of a well-designed Public Works Programme like Ipelegeng should be based on:
1) Self-selection: That the programme wage should be set such that only those who deserve and meet the Ipelegeng requirements apply and the well-off do not have the incentive to apply. The reason being that rationing Public Works Programme has high administrative costs
2) Projects undertaken under such programmes should be of a high quality such that they add high value to national assets and have the potential to generate second round effects on employment benefits
3) Such projects should have high labour intensity in order for cost effectiveness to be achieved
4) Targeting the poor should be central to the implementation of such programmes
5) Public Works Programmes on their own do not have much impact on poverty and unemployment. Their impact is better felt when such programmes are linked to other economic empowerment programmes targeting the poor.
1: Ipelegeng objectives must be revised and be aligned to the national objective of poverty eradication. Such an alignment should portray the programme only as a part of a process that seeks to achieve poverty eradication since on its own it cannot achieve that.
2: Ipelegeng must be redesigned to be result-based to introduce flexible working schedules where beneficiaries will be assigned work and will work at their own time and pace and be paid on work done instead of time spent at work.
3: Ipelegeng must introduce a well-structured capacity building component that arms participants with production skills as well as survival skills. Such skills will assist the participants to graduate to better paying jobs
4: A strong and clear Communication, Education and Public Awareness Strategy for Ipelegeng must be designed. Such a strategy should place emphasis on ensuring that the programme objectives are clearly known and understood by all stakeholders. The need for participants to graduate must form a central core for such a strategy.
5: A cost benefit analysis of using a single national Ipelegeng wage rate to achieve self-selection must be undertaken with the view to establish whether different regional factors can be taken into account and hence vary the wage rate regionally.
6: The Ministry of Local Government should investigate the reasons for Remote areas having displayed very different results from the rest of the groups regarding Ipelegeng Issues. Based on the outcome of this investigation the Ministry will determine if a special Ipelegeng Programme targeting Remote area should be designed and implemented.
The problem arises with implementation process. The programme runs as if policy makers know what needs to be done without knowing how to do it or understanding why that needs to be done. It stands to reason that before Ipelegeng is redesigned and a new programme drawn, the Ministry of Local Government should first familiarise itself with why the best practice requirements of PWPs are important. Why they need to be met and how they can be successfully operationalised and what implementation implications do they have? Bench-marking with countries that have been successful with implementing such programmes is one sure way such knowledge and understanding can be gained . In this light it is recommended that the Ministry of Local Government should undertake a benchmarking exercise with countries that have been successful in implementing PWPs. This exercise‟s main objective will be to enable the Ministry to understand why some of these best practices are needed. That way the Ministry will not only be able to build internal capacity to draw a robust new Ipelegeng Programme but it will also be able to draw a solid implementation plan that goes with it. The increasing strategic and national importance of this programme warrants a proper understanding of the factors that can make Ipelegeng succeed. That way Batswana will get the money‟s worth from the programme.
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