Poverty Alleviation Fund 2 (PAF-2)

Poverty Alleviation Fund 2 (PAF-2)

IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM)
YEARS: 2009-2010
GRANT AMOUNT: $19,400
THEMES: Public Saftey Nets

Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF-2) is a development project funded by the World Bank and implemented by the Poverty Alleviation Fund in Nepal. The project’s objective is to improve living conditions and empower the rural poor, with particular attention to groups that have been excluded based on gender, ethnicity, caste or geographical location. The Poverty Alleviation Fund disburses funds to over 20,000 Community Organizations (COs) working with numerous Partner Organizations (POs) who in turn employ social mobilizers (SMs) to implement pro-poor activities. It is disbursing money in 40 districts ranked as the poorest by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Strategy
The overall objective of the CARTA sub-project was to strengthen local community organization (CO) capacity for effective and efficient project management so they can better serve their communities. The specific sub-project objectives were to:

  • Enable COs to monitor partner organizations’ downward accountability
  • Increase knowledge and skill of COs on good governance, networking, and project management
  • Update and refine participatory tools and indicators used to evaluate the institutional development of COs
  • Enable COs to review their own institutional development using a participatory process

These objectives were intended to increase the ability of COs to hold partner organizations accountable and provide better service to their local communities. Awareness raising activities helped COs better understand partner organization obligations under PAF-2, recognize their own development needs and improve their monitoring and project management capacities.

Results
The sub-project activities resulted in a number of positive improvements:

  • 100% of the 120 community organizations (COs) had training plans (baseline: 0%)
  • 45% of COs registered written grievances (baseline: 5%)
  • Annual visits by social mobilizers increased to 8 (baseline: 7.7), and the quality of these visits improved, allowing social mobilizers to better fulfill their tasks such as assessing training needs, providing training plans, and checking CO progress
  • 92% of COs were satisfied with the services provided by POs (baseline: 60%) due to the increased knowledge levels of the COs and higher response levels of the POs
  • Revised assessment tools enabled 100% of the COs to complete a self-review of their own institutional development in a participatory way (baseline: 17.5%)

Lessons
CARTA activities (trainings, individual coaching and counseling sessions) had a positive impact on the community organization (CO) level of institution development, regardless of their establishment year. At the conclusion of the CARTA sub-project, none of the COs were in the nascent stage. This trend shows COs acquired more self-confidence in their own competence and independence.

In addition, COs joined networks according to their needs. Becoming members of larger thematic networks (e.g. saving associations and cooperatives). These positive changes present an optimistic outlook on the capabilities of COs to improve the living conditions and livelihoods of the rural poor where the central government does not have a strong presence. In this way, COs can be more effective fulfilling their roles if they can leverage their skills and networks.