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G OV E R N A N C E and ANTICORRUPTION A S S E S S I N G R E S U LT S I N P R O J E C T S

http://gacinprojects

This study is one in a series of papers that describe project-level approaches to governance and corruption October 2010issues, identify their results, and draw lessons that other task teams may be able to use.

Case Study 3 For this social protection project, with specific targeting criteria reaching millions of beneficiaries and with multiple administrative tiers, there was a need to protect

Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program: Participation, Transparency, and Accountability

the integrity of the program, minimize opportunities for mismanagement of resources, and prevent capture by interest groups. The project incorporated several GAC mitigation measures: for example, increasing citizen engagement in the targeting of beneficiaries and planning of public works, and developing an effective communication strategy. Surveys, audits, and qualitative assessments all show the effectiveness of those mitigation measures in ensuring that resources reach the poorest households effectively and efficiently.

The Project The Productive Safety Nets Program (PSNP) was launched in 2005 to provide support to some 5 million chronically food-insecure people in rural Ethiopia in such a way as to prevent asset depletion at the household level while creating assets at the community level. Its public works component provides payments to able-bodied individuals participating in labor-intensive public works programs, and a direct grants component provides support to labor-poor, elderly, or otherwise incapacitated households. This support assists households to smooth their consumption, avoid asset depletion, and plan with greater certainty. The program, scaled up significantly in 2006, now reaches 7.57 million people, roughly 10 percent of Ethiopia’s total population; thus it is one of the largest social protection programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its annual budget is roughly US$347 million (equivalent to 1.2 percent of Ethiopia’s GDP), of which about US$303 million is provided in transfers to beneficiaries; the remaining budget is spent on capital inputs for public works, capacity building, and program management costs. Recent independent impact evaluations, qualitative studies, and surveys show that the PSNP is having a positive impact on livelihoods, significantly enhancing community-level infrastructure, and contributing to environmental transformation.1

G OV E R N A N C E and ANTICORRUPTION

1  An impact evaluation found that participation in the program significantly improved household food security, as measured by changes in self-reported household food gap. PSNP beneficiaries have also increased their use of social services: in 2006, 46.1% of PSNP beneficiary households reported that they used health facilities more that year than in the previous year, and 76% attributed this change to the PSNP.

A S S E S S I N G R E S U LT S I N P R O J E C T S

http://gacinprojects

This study is one in a series of papers that describe project-level approaches to governance and corruption issues, identify their results, and draw lessons that other task teams may be able to use.


GOVERNANCE and ANTICORRUPTION ASSESSING RESULTS IN PROJECTS

Table 1  Mitigation and Results at a Glance Conditions at entry

GAC mitigation measures

Results

• Large public program with specific targeting criteria reaching millions of beneficiaries, implemented through multiple administrative tiers • Low citizen engagement and participation level (“low voice”) • Strong community structures, high social capital • Low level of corruption

• Strong citizen engagement, particularly in the targeting of beneficiaries and planning of public works • Transparency measures and communication strategy • Mechanisms to hold decisionmakers accountable (i.e., appeals/complaints system) and mechanisms to improve project performance (i.e. audits)

• 92% of households indicate that their community benefited from the construction of roads, and 88% report the same for soil and water conservation on communal lands • 90% of households are satisfied with the program when they have enough information to understand how the program works • Few reports of resources being manipulated for personal ends or special interests • PSNP project resources are used efficiently and effectively

Diagnosis of the Problem Because PSNP is a large public program that has specific targeting criteria reaching millions of beneficiaries, and that is implemented through multiple administrative tiers, there was a need to protect the integrity of the program, minimize opportunities for mismanagement of resources, and prevent capture by interest groups. Therefore, PSNP has devoted considerable effort to putting in place effective checks and balances to ensure that resources are used efficiently and effectively. It has included widespread citizen engagement and participation in program design and operation, made program information accessible to all citizens, and introduced an appeals and grievance response mechanism.

GAC Mitigation Measures The PSPN strategy incorporates the GAC principles of participation, transparency, and accountability.

Participation

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The PSNP strongly encourages citizens to participate, particularly in the targeting of beneficiaries and

planning of public works, to ensure transparency and accountability in program delivery at local levels. PSNP targeting is carried out through participatory processes. Members of the Community Food Security Task Force—comprising representatives from the kebele, a development agent, two or three elected female representatives, two or three elected male representatives, an elected youth representative, and an elected representative of the elderly community—and local officials use the PSNP targeting criteria to choose which households will take part in the program. These decisions are then verified through broader community meetings, where both beneficiaries and nonbeneficiaries debate and agree on which households to include in the program under public works or direct support for the next year. The program’s public works component also involves community participation. Each year, the PSNP initiates roughly 34,000 public works projects that focus on soil and water conservation, social infrastructure, and roads. In 2009, PSNP public works were operational in almost one-third of Ethiopian woredas, generating an estimated 190 million person-days of labor. These projects


Case Study 3

Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program

are identified each year through a communitybased participatory planning process to ensure that they are valuable to the community in general and to balance the competing interests of various interest groups, including men and women. Both beneficiaries and nonbeneficiary households participate in public meetings that determine multiyear annual plans. Community members then work with development agents to determine each year’s priority public works and participate in the consultative meetings to identify viable household investment opportunities.

Transparency The PSNP emphasizes transparency measures as part of a broader communication strategy— for example, key program information is publicly disclosed; the annual woreda-by-woreda resource allocation plan for the PSNP is posted on a website; and in some woredas the safety net budget and public works plan are posted for public review. According to the Project Appraisal Document, the program uses such measures as posters and newsletters to ensure widespread understanding of program objectives, processes, and procedures, including the targeting and appeals systems. There are plans to expand these transparency measures by using IT tools. For example, the government will explore the use of community radio to reach a high proportion of illiterate people and remote communities. In addition, the PSNP will produce a beneficiary charter of rights and responsibilities that will be disseminated widely in communities.

Accountability The PSNP established a number of structures and processes to deepen local accountability. In particular, it includes a responsive appeals process, supported by vigorous efforts to ensure that beneficiaries and nonbeneficiaries know what their rights are and whom they can appeal to. As a result, the appeals system is seen as a legitimate

institution that can overturn targeting decisions, and people are using it. The program also includes mechanisms to monitor performance to verify that resources are used for the intended purposes: rapid response teams visit woredas on a roving basis to review implementation and address problems; roving financial auditors and procurement auditors review 40 woredas per year; and annual audits review the whole program. Another important tool the program uses to strengthen internal accountability at the woreda level is the payroll and attendance sheets, which development agents prepare and woreda officials certify to ensure that beneficiaries receive their payments in full. However, when survey work questioned the accuracy of payments in some woredas, the Government and development partners initiated careful follow-up and tightened the control of payments: the payroll and attendance sheets were computerized, and a system of “client cards” will be introduced to provide evidence of entitlements and proof of payment. These changes will enable beneficiaries, local decision-makers, and Government officials to better track receipt of payments over time. The PSNP has also been giving much importance to monitoring and evaluation, or M&E (while working to improve the use of the information that the M&E system produces), and it regularly commissions independent studies and reviews—financed both by the Government and the multidonor trust fund— to assess progress toward outputs. These studies include annual reviews of public works planning and of the technical quality of the design and implementation of public works. An annual wage rate study helps ensure that the PSNP provides an appropriate cash wage rate. A social assessment will review the effectiveness of program targeting and assess whether the program continues to target the poorest and most vulnerable people. The impact of the PSNP is evaluated through a set of independent evaluations: a regionally

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GOVERNANCE and ANTICORRUPTION ASSESSING RESULTS IN PROJECTS

representative household survey, carried out every two years to assess the impact on direct and indirect beneficiaries, and an evaluation that assesses the impact of PSNP public works at the community level by sampling watersheds. Although the Government and the development partners have worked to improve the PSNP monitoring system—for example, streamlining the reporting formats and strengthening the Federal Information Center, which generates real-time data on program performance—performance remains variable across regions and woredas, and it appears that the information generated by the monitoring system is not being used to inform management decisions. To address these issues, the program will introduce a system of performance incentives, which requires the regular use of performance monitoring.

Results There is strong evidence that the community-based targeting system is fair and transparent, so that PSNP resources go to the poorest households, which have significantly lower incomes, fewer assets, and less land than nonbeneficiaries. In a survey of local service delivery in Ethiopia, slightly more than 87 percent of respondents reported that the PSNP selection process is fair, and only 13 percent believe it is unfair. Findings from several surveys show that PSNP operates more frequently in kebeles where respondents consider their quality of life to be low. A 2008 household survey found that implementers, nonbeneficiaries, and beneficiaries alike understood poverty to be the reason for household participation in the PSNP. Citizen perceptions of households being targeted for the PSNP on the basis of religious or ethnic affiliation or patronage are negligible.

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Moreover, a high and increasing number of households report participation in the public works identification and planning exercises. Within the community, public works are widely perceived to

be beneficial: in 2008, 92 percent of households indicated that their community benefited from the construction of roads, and 88 percent reported the same for soil and water conservation on communal lands. Public works are increasingly perceived to benefit individual households as well. Unlike many road and water projects, the PSNP public works are assessed to be of a high technical standard on average. Indications are that public works have increased access to social services and are beginning to transform the natural environment. According to the 2008 Financial Transparency and Accountability Perception Survey, if citizens believe that the PSNP projects are relevant and useful to the community, PSNP project resources are clearly being used efficiently and effectively. Community participation during the planning and targeting processes ensures that the benefits are valuable to communities themselves. Citizens also report being considerably more satisfied with PSNP service delivery than with woreda administration service delivery (83% of respondents were satisfied with PSNP, compared to just over 72% with woreda administration services). Overall, there are indications that PSNP provides more opportunities for citizen engagement and “voice” than other programs. Many respondents reported that they had had the opportunity to attend local PSNP meetings and that they did provide comments. Of the respondents who reported that they had attended PSNP meetings, 66 percent said that they had never attended meetings for another organization in their neighborhood. As regards transparency measures, the importance of PSNP initiatives to build awareness among target communities is demonstrated by the fact that while the overall level of satisfaction with the program is high (75%), households that perceive they have enough information to understand how the program works report even higher rates of satisfaction (90%). Moreover, in a 2008 survey, 89 percent of respondents reported knowing


Case Study 3

Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program

Figure 1  PSNP GAC Results Chain Diagram Surveys and qualitative assessments

Participation: targeting of beneficiaries and planning of public works are fair and transparent

Transparency: disclosing key program information and ensuring widespread understanding of the program

Accountability: creating tools for beneficiaries to hold government accountable

Surveys and qualitative assessments

Independent roving appeal audit

Poorest households targeted, community priorities identified and social services built

Increased use of social services Beneficiaries are well informed and high level of satisfaction is achieved

Resources are being used effectively and efficiently

Appeal and follow-up system established

who their local PSNP representatives are. Some 68 percent of respondents “strongly agree” or “agree somewhat” that they have a clear idea of how households are selected to receive PSNP assistance.

Lessons Learned

Although the kebele appeals committees have only recently been established, an independent roving appeal audit conducted in 2008 found that the new appeals system is working relatively well: committees were established in 95 percent of cases, with adequate representation in 85 percent of cases. However, this review also identified such weaknesses as little formal documentation (37.5% keep records and 22% post appeals) and cases that are not resolved positively. Overall, it seems that both beneficiaries and nonbeneficiaries are playing a key role in holding implementers to account through the committees2 and public forums, and there have been few reports of fund misuse at the local level.

Project Implementation

There is also evidence of people appealing targeting decisions. 2 

Improvement in livelihood at household and community level in the poorest areas

Several major lessons have been learned from the PSNP experience and can be applied in similar environments.

zz

zz

PSNP has emphasized providing citizen access to information and implementing a comprehensive communication strategy. The success of these initiatives is demonstrated by the fact that among households that have enough information to understand how the program works, the percentage satisfied by the program is extremely high. Transparency and accountability. Bottomup accountability mechanisms work best when households are aware of their entitlements, assess program effectiveness against stated objectives, and whistle-blow when things are not operating as they should be. The PSNP created not only robust accountability mechanisms and means for citizens to Transparency.

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GOVERNANCE and ANTICORRUPTION ASSESSING RESULTS IN PROJECTS

influence the allocation of resources, but also monitoring and evaluation systems through which decision-makers can to track and report on the use of resources. zz

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environment—for example, providing maps derived from geographic information systems of each community watershed, which can give a comprehensive and accurate overview of all community projects and track progress.

Transparency, accountability, and participation. High rates of community

involvement have helped to hold local decision-makers to account, with few reports of resources being manipulated for personal ends or special interests. Moreover, community participation during the planning and targeting processes ensures that the benefits are valuable to the community themselves. Computerized systems. In Ethiopia it has been hard to build strong systems to prevent fraud and control error without computerization. Moreover, computerized systems (a spatiallybased database) could be effective in the oversight of projects that rehabilitate the natural

Monitoring and Evaluation zz

Mechanisms to improve project performance. To ensure that decision-makers

can monitor and track the use of resources, PSNP is working to establish a robust and transparent M&E system that emphasizes performance monitoring. To improve program performance, monitoring needs to be part of a responsive management system. Ex-post audits can provide important feedback to improve program performance


Case Study 3

Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program

References Devereux, S., R. Sabates-Wheeler, M. Tefera, and H. Taye. “Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP): Trends in PSNP Transfers within Targeted Households.” Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK, and Indak International Pvt. L. C., Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2006. Gilligan, D. O., J. Hoddinott, and A. S. Taffesse. “An Analysis of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program and its Linkages.” International Food Policy Research Institute, February 15, 2008. Sharp, K., T. Brown, and A. Teshome. “Targeting Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP).” ODI, August 2006. Wiseman, W. Presentation on a Case Study on Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme. Workshop on Fraud & Error Control in Social Protection Programs, May 17, 2007. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/ SAFETYNETSANDTRANSFERS/Resources/281945-1131

468287118/1876750-1182180231533/W iseman_ EthiopiaPSNP_5-07.pdf Wiseman, W. Presentation on a Case Study on Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme. Governance & Accountability in Human Development, November 12, 2008. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTHDOFFICE/ Resources/5485726-1239047988859/5995659-123905 1886394/5996104-1239987975295/26.Nov_12_ Wiseman_GAC_in_HD_Ethiopia_safety_net_pgm.pdf World Bank. Productive Safety Net APL III Program, Project Appraisal Document, September 25, 2009. http://imagebank.worldbank.org/servlet/ WDSContentServer/IW3P/IB/2009/10/09/000334955_20 091009013823/Rendered/PDF/486330PAD0CORR1orri gendum0together1.pdf World Bank. The Ethiopia Productive Safety Net Program in the Financial Transparency & Accountability Perception Survey, 2008.

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GOVERNANCE and ANTICORRUPTION ASSESSING RESULTS IN PROJECTS

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G OV E R N A N C E nd N TWiseman. ICORRUPTION with the assistance of World Bank staff Woltera Soer and A William

This study was prepared by Tommaso Balbo de Vinadio under the supervision of Ivor Beazley and

A S S E S S I N G R E S U LT S I N P R O J E C T S

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