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Evaluation report

2013 Barbados: Determining the Results of the Koudmen Sent Lisi Pilot Programme: A Social Safety Net Programme in St. Lucia



Author: Paulette Nichols

Executive summary

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Background:

St. Lucia is a Small Island Development State (SIDS) in the Eastern Caribbean region with a population of 174,000. Despite these impressive socio-economic indicators, St. Lucia is however one of the most vulnerable countries with regard to natural disasters, economic dependency and social risks.

UNICEF, World Bank, and UN Women conducted Social Safety Net Assessment in St. Lucia  in 2009-2010. The assessment shows that children bear the brunt of the poverty. Additionally, the assessment points to a large number of weaknesses in social safety nets. The existing programmes do not adequately protect children, single parents (especially women), and the working age poor, The assessment also highlights gender differences in access and eligibility. For example, there is a link between lower salaries and lower pensions for women. The benefits are often capped per household that result in disproportionate burden on larger households, which are typically female headed. Similarly, existing programmes are not sufficiently supporting children who are too young to go to school.

St. Lucia implements a number of targeted social assistance programmes. One key programme is the St. Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) that was established in 2009 through the Poverty Reduction Fund (Amendment) Act of 2009 to bring St. Lucia’s two demand driven

community based initiatives, the Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF) and the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) under one administrative framework. SSDF implements community infrastructure and development projects as well as programmes targeted to individual households. In addition, SSDF implements Koudmen Sent Lisi, modeled on the Chile Puente

Programme, which provides psychosocial support to indigent poor families.

Purpose/Objective:

The Government of Saint Lucia and SSDF have expressed interest to evaluate the Koudmen Sent Lisi Program to learn from this pilot and use the evaluation findings to reform program design and scale up the program to national level.

However, given the information available about the Koudmen Sent Lisi program (available data, documents, reports, etc.), it is suggested that the evaluation objectives be the following:

- ascertain results to date, pinpoint the expected and unexpected outputs and bring all the evidence it can to qualify and quantify the outputs (and if possible the outcomes) at the household, individual and community levels.

- identify opportunities and constraints the program has faced and draw lessons and good practices from the Koudmen Sent Lisi pilot.

- to evaluate the operational effectiveness of the pilot including cost evaluation and costing its scale up in the current and projected national fiscal situation

- suggest ways, if needed, to re-design the program to better integrate it as part of the country’s broader social protection system with a view of greater efficacy and greater inclusion of gender and equity concerns

- identify implications and requirements (institutional capacity, coordination mechanism, etc.) for scaling up and rolling out  a re-designed social protection program in a context of a broader and revamped national social protection framework.

The Koudmen Sent Lisi evaluation is therefore formative by nature and carried out around the needs of the identified intended users such as SSDF, Ministries of Social Transformation, Housing, Education, etc. The value added from this evaluation is expected to be achieved through the use of the findings in the ongoing and future national discussions about (a) reforming the social protection system in St Lucia supported by (b) re-engineered coordination, delivery and management mechanisms for social protection programs.

Methodology:

The Government of Saint Lucia and SSDF have expressed interest to evaluate the Koudmen Sent Lisi Program to learn from this pilot and use the evaluation findings to reform program design and scale up the program to national level.

However, given the information available about the Koudmen Sent Lisi program (available data, documents, reports, etc.), it is suggested that the evaluation objectives be the following:

- ascertain results to date, pinpoint the expected and unexpected outputs and bring all the evidence it can to qualify and quantify the outputs (and if possible the outcomes) at the household, individual and community levels.
- identify opportunities and constraints the program has faced and draw lessons and good practices from the Koudmen Sent Lisi pilot.

-  to evaluate the operational effectiveness of the pilot including cost evaluation and costing its scale up in the current and projected national fiscal situation

- suggest ways, if needed, to re-design the program to better integrate it as part of the country’s broader social protection system with a view of greater efficacy and greater inclusion of gender and equity concerns

- identify implications and requirements (institutional capacity, coordination mechanism, etc.) for scaling up and rolling out  a re-designed social protection program in a context of a broader and revamped national social protection framework.

The Koudmen Sent Lisi evaluation is therefore formative by nature and carried out around the needs of the identified intended users such as SSDF, Ministries of Social Transformation, Housing, Education, etc. The value added from this evaluation is expected to be achieved through the use of the findings in the ongoing and future national discussions about (a) reforming the social protection system in St Lucia supported by (b) re-engineered coordination, delivery and management mechanisms for social protection programs.

Findings and Conclusions:

Although KSL was planned as a multi-faceted cash transfer programme, government financing was seriously delayed resulting in canceling the cash dimension of the programme. The programme survived by SSDF’s decision to divert cash ( 300,000 USD over the two year period) from HOPE to KSL and the use of in-kind contributions such as housing materials contributed by the European Union, valued at nearly US$ 150,000.

From an equity perspective, the fact that over 20% of the available cash funds went to provide new or improved housing for 24% of the 41households interviewed (see figure 11), leads one to question how equitably and efficiently the scare programme resources were allocated. Household interviews indicated that the donated windows, doors and inside building materials were largely not appropriate for warm weather structures and hence much of this in-kind donation remains stored. It is uncertain whether the donor was informed and/or if attempts were made to sale, return or donate these materials, and apply the profit to the purchase of local materials or technical assistance to fulfill the many expectations for housing assistance among the KSL pilot families. A more efficient handling of this in-kind donation and the housing pillar in general, may have averted much of the “negative press” and disappointment expressed by well over half of the KSL pilot families and key informants.

The research noted that programme benefits have only been partially achieved in terms of coverage and effectiveness. For example, the household interviews acknowledged that as a result of KSLs strategies and psychosocial support, families have an improved awareness about accessing preventative healthcare service for children and the attitudes of direct beneficiaries have changed. However, accessing these services continues to be problematic due to limited available disposable income.

Recommendations:

1 Formulate an Evaluation Policy to support the establishment of a SSDF/KSL Monitoring and evaluation framework/system.

2 Establish an effective KSL Coordination function.

3 More effort should be made to use KSL to deliver services and benefits for children and to promote equal opportunities to grow, develop and reach their full potential.

4 Institute quality standards and distribution principles to ensure equitable access to KSL programme goods, services and benefits.

5 Strengthen and streamline connections among SSDF programmes and other social safety net initiatives, particularly, but not limited to the decentralized levels.

6 Strengthen the national institutional structure/framework to provide strategic guidance and improved coordination of social assistance initiatives.

7 Technical support ought to accompany SSDF in their efforts to implement the evaluation recommendations and set up an M&E framework not just for KSL but for SSDF as whole.

8 Convene with stakeholders of all levels to share the evaluation findings to support the national discussion on a comprehensive and integrated social protection system. Share the findings with partners at regional level (Puente in the Caribbean among others).



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Report information

Year:
2013

Country:
Barbados

Region:
LACRO

Theme:
Social Policy

Partners:
St. Lucia Social Development Fund

Type:
Evaluation

Language:
English

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