Red Cross Supported Pakistan Red Crescent Programmes in Sindh

About the publication

  • Published: May 2016
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Dr. Mark Shepherd, and Arzoo Kanwal, Evaluation Consultants
  • Commissioned by: Norges Røde Kors
  • Country: Pakistan
  • Theme: Health
  • Pages: 47
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: Norwegian Red Cross (NorCross)
  • Local partner: Pakistan Red Crescent (PRC)
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.

Background

NorCross has supported PRC with emergency assistance for many decades, e.g. during the 2005 earthquake, but has only been present in Pakistan with a country delegation since 2010.

NorCross is today considered a trusted and long-term partner to PRC and has positioned itself as a key player in areas such as National Society Development (NSD), Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR), and Community Based Health and First Aid (CBHFA).

NorCross works closely with other Partner National Societies (PNSs) present, as well as the Federation and ICRC. Bilateral activities are funded by NMFA through the 2013-2016 Framework Agreement managed by Norad. In addition, NorCross is contributing to program cost by using unrestricted funds from other sources.

The current evaluation was conducted to assess the performance of NorCross supported Programs of PRC in Sindh province.

NorCross has supported two projects in Sindh Province namely;

  1. Jacobabad Branch development Project (started in 2011)
  2. OD/BD PHQ/Jamshoro Project (started in 2014).

Purpose/objective: The purpose of this evaluation was to assess the performance of NorCross supported PRC projects in Sindh province by evaluating the impact and effectiveness of the Jacobabad and Jamshoro Branch Development Projects. The evaluation assesses how NorCross support towards PRC has contributed to the following desired results.

These are:

  1. The NSD/Financial Development Component: Volunteering and Branch Development: National Society branches have well qualified staff and volunteers and well-functioning management systems in place.
  2. Disaster Preparedness-Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Component: Targeted communities, volunteers and staff are prepared and can respond to disasters and are able to adapt to threatening changes/risks.
  3. Health: Vulnerable communities are adopting good health practices.

Methodology

The evaluation was conducted between March and April 2016. In preparation for the evaluation an Inception Report was prepared outlining the overall approach to the evaluation, including the main methods and field tools to be used (See Annex B for outline tasks and method). In summary form, the evaluation adopted a mixed method approach comprising:

  • A desktop review of operation documents, relevant organisational background and history, including previous evaluation reports and other relevant secondary data sources.
  • A stakeholder scoping exercise was conducted to determine key informants.
  • Key informant interviews using semi-structured and structured interview guides. A range of key informants were interviewed for the evaluation including: NorCross staff in Oslo and Pakistan; PRC National HQ (NHQ); PRC Provincial HQ (PHQ); PRC Branch staff; and branch CBHFA and CBDRR volunteers.
  • Field visits were undertaken to selected target villages (see Table 1 below), which included group discussions (GD) with Community Groups (CG) and Community Based Organisations (CBO), as well as 143 individual HH visits.

The following data collection instruments were used during the evaluation:

  • Key informant interview guide (pertaining to the key evaluation questions).
  • Household questionnaire focusing on CBHFA interventions.
  • A database in which to record responses to the CBHFA household questionnaires.
  • Group discussion questionnaires for CBDRR volunteers, CBO and CG discussions.

Particular efforts were made to ensure that gender issues were considered throughout the evaluation process, both in relation to the content of the evaluation and the way it was undertaken, with a gender sensitive approach employed to conducting group discussions etc.

Key findings

The program has secured some very notable results. Solid progress has been made in relation to the NSD/Financial Development component of the program. The program’s strong OD component has laid the foundations for a sustainable structure that will ultimately allow for the successful implementation of branch development, DM and CBHFA thematic components.

The design has ensured activities are highly appropriate for the context and are well targeted towards program beneficiaries (PRC and community).

All activities currently being undertaken are wholly appropriate given the program’s overall goals and design; with all stated standards being fully complied with.

Both branches have a solid foundation on which to build a well-functioning branch: management systems are taking shape, and for the most part branches have well qualified staff and volunteers: the adoption of a quality PMER system will ensure branches are well on their way to becoming ‘well-functioning’: the overall result is that branches are making good progress to having well qualified staff and volunteers and well-functioning management systems in place, but there is still room for improvement.

Recommendations

  1. Improving the PMER system: The program should develop a project indicator/target tracking matrix so branches can meaningfully plan/schedule work and submit accurate (period and cumulative) monitoring reports to NorCross.
  2. Improving PMER filing: A systematic physical filing system need to be introduced at branch level to ensure that project records are ordered and traceable.
  3. Enhancing understanding of community resilience building: The program should conduct training for all engaged staff (NHQ, PHQ and Branch) and volunteers on the community resilience building principles that underpin the program, and support those individuals to effectively convey that message to target communities.
  4. Improving community water provision: The program should reappraise its approach to supporting communities to access water.
  5. Improving community sanitation solutions: The program should reappraise its approach to sanitation solutions especially latrine provision. The current latrine model provided through the program is non-replicable by communities at the cost and alternative designs should be considered.
  6. Reducing Malaria through provision of bed nets: The program should consider providing long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to target HHs as a significant contribution to reducing morbidity and mortality associated with Malaria in target communities.
  7. Aligning ITT with the program LFAs: Regardless of the indicators/targets tracked through ITT, there should be an alignment between the ITT indicators/targets and the program indicators/targets.
  8. Program spending analysis: The program should prepare financial data to the extent that it is possible to show the % of funds that are executed directly at beneficiary level for CBHFA and CBDRR activities (separate from PHQ and branch costs), thus enabling a meaningful cost effectiveness analysis to take place.
  9. Update program documents to accurately reflect the current projects: The program should rewrite/fully update both branch project documents rather than just update the LFA. Within this task, the program should aim to provide greater clarity and description related to its intended Climate Change Adaptation initiatives.
  10. Prepare an exit strategy for villages/communities: The program should develop a clear exit strategy for exiting communities (in addition to exiting the branches). This should involve the development of minimum sustainability criteria i.e. what minimum elements must be in place, such as trained CBHFA/CBDRR volunteers, EWS, village evacuation plans etc., before the program can move to a new target village/community. Within this process, the branch should aim to continually monitor villages it has exited from to ensure the impact already secured is being sustained.
  11. Reaching more vulnerable populations: When selecting the new target villages - as part of the planned 2016 Jamshoro project expansion for example - the program should attempt to select at least one village (from the 3 planned) that is particularly vulnerable, and further from the town than current project supported villages. The learning from doing this would be valuable for the program.
  12. Increasing scope and scaling-up: This final recommendation is a reflection on the whole program. The evaluation team gained a strong sense that the NorCross-PRC partnership had capacity to do more if further resourced i.e. to use its quality human resources to both increase the scope of its interventions and to scale-up what is currently being done. Such a direction naturally requires increased financial resources, and it is hoped that this evaluation supports the partnership in obtaining more funding to implement this recommendation.

Comments from the organisation, if any

NorCross Country Office management has thoroughly reviewed the recommendations from the evaluation and have conducted frequent follow up meetings with the evaluator and implementing partner. In addition, advice and inputs from Hq Advisors have been incorporated and addressed (by the Consultant) in the final evaluation report.

The project plans of action have been revised keeping in view these recommendations and the implementing partner is taking up the field level corrective measures

Published 29.09.2016
Last updated 29.09.2016