Responding to the need to benchmark service delivery in Africa is a crucial component of the Service Delivery project, AERC is managing a sub project on the Construction and Operationalization of Service Delivery Indexes for Africa with financial support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
The main objective of this sub-project is to develop a set of indices using rigorous methodology and based on well designed instruments to collect data on service delivery. The ultimate objective is to develop indices that can help policymakers and other stakeholders in enhancing the quality of service provision. The initial focus is on education and health sectors.
The development of credible and policy relevant measures of service delivery is an involving and resource intensive undertaking. The process involves extensive and consistent data collection based on carefully designed instruments that should reflect a deep understanding of service delivery in selected sectors and countries. The data gathered would then be subjected to scientific methodologies that involve appropriate weighting schemes and rigorous computational approaches to develop a composite service delivery index for each sector. Such an index of service delivery should meet specific characteristics such as having well-defined boundaries and should also be sensitive to changes in the quality of provision. These features are essential if the measures for individual sectors are to be comparable and also allow for the development of composite indices. Development of such indices will therefore involve the expertise of highly qualified individuals and will also involve extensive capacity building for local researchers.
The technical team is composed of:
- Bernard Gauthier – (Team Leader)
- Jakob Svensson
- Tessa Bold
- Ottar Maestad
It was thus decided to proceed first with a pilot phase which was to be carried out in Tanzania and Senegal. Useful lessons would be generated from the pilot before possibility of up scaling to other countries and regions could be considered. Prior to the pilot survey, a Rapid Data Assessment was carried out in February, 2010 in partnership with the Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) in Tanzania and Consortium pour la RechercheEconomique et Sociale (CRES) in Senegal. This was followed by a pilot survey in both countries.
Pilot surveys in health and education sectors in both Tanzania and Senegal were successfully completed in July 2010. The same applies to data entry. Data cleaning and preliminary analysis were completed in August 2010. The first draft report was ready in October, 2010 and was presented before a gathering of interested donors and other stakeholders on November 19, 2010 in Washington D.C., USA with the aim of eliciting support for scaling up the project to more countries and securing possible outlet for the indicators at national and regional levels. A final report was submitted in March 2011 thereby concluding the pilot phase of the project.
The final report on this project, including the data and questionnaires, were sent to AERC’s local partners Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) in Tanzania and Consortium pour la RechercheEconomique et Sociale (CRES) in Senegal. They are required to make the report and the data available to a bigger audience as much as possible including but not limiting to posting these on their respective websites. REPOA and CRES held dissemination workshops for the final report in their respective countries in November and December 2011. The activities of this sub-project have been concluded.