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The Impact of Improved and Predictable Funding to Vulnerable Schools

The Impact of Improved and Predictable Funding to Vulnerable Schools

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Published by CAREZAMBIA
In partnership with the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) Directorate of Planning and Information, CARE Zambia established Supplementary Term Grants (TG) initiative in Kazungula and Katete Districts. The main aim of this initiative was to deliver adequate, regular and predictable supplementary Term Grants through a specially developed Operations Manual for the TG project, using MoE Sector Pool Fund expenditure guidelines.
In partnership with the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) Directorate of Planning and Information, CARE Zambia established Supplementary Term Grants (TG) initiative in Kazungula and Katete Districts. The main aim of this initiative was to deliver adequate, regular and predictable supplementary Term Grants through a specially developed Operations Manual for the TG project, using MoE Sector Pool Fund expenditure guidelines.

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Published by: CAREZAMBIA on Oct 03, 2013
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The Impact of Improved andPredictable Funding to Vulnerable Schools
Social Protection A CARE International in Zambia Learning Product 2009CARE Zambia’s work in Social Protection
Background to the project
Since 2004, CARE Zambia has been working through aProgram Partnership Agreement (PPA) with the UK Government’s Department for International Development(DFID) to implement a number of Social Protectionprojects, aimed at increasing the capacity of institutionsand the most vulnerable in society to better manage risk associated with food insecurity, destitution and HIV and AIDS.The PPA programme reflects CARE International’s visionwhich “
seeks a world of hope, tolerance and social  justice where poverty has been overcome and  people live in dignity and security 
. An estimated 64% of Zambians are poor, mostly living inrural areas (Central Statistics Office 2007) on less thanUS$ 1 per day. The PPA programme has focused onaddressing this through a Social Protection agenda thatsupports both the achievement of MillenniumDevelopment Goals one, two and six, and the Governmentof Zambia’s Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP).In this context, CARE Zambia regards Social Protection asa holistic approach to protecting and promoting thelivelihoods and welfare of vulnerable groups throughcoordinated policies and transfer mechanisms such ascash, physical resources, training and in-kindcontributions. The vulnerable groups targeted include:Low capacity households including widows, thedisabled, the old, and other marginalized, low-income households, and informal sector operators;Incapacitated households with no self-help potential,including mainly households affected by HIV/AIDS;Child-headed households and street children As part of the PPA, a series of learning products havebeen developed as a means of sharing knowledge andpromoting greater understanding with a wide spectrum of stakeholders including policy makers, Government,donors, and civil society.Research findings from the 2004 Zambian EducationSpending and Delivery Survey (ESDS) and the 1996Ugandan Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS)observed that little of the budget allocated to Ministriesactually reached schools, especially those in more remoteareas.In partnership with the Ministry of Education’s (MoE)Directorate of Planning and Information, CARE Zambiaestablished the Supplementary Term Grants (TG) initiativein Kazungula and Katete Districts. The main aim of thisinitiative was to deliver adequate, regular and predictablesupplementary Term Grants through a specially developedOperations Manual for the TG project, using MoE SectorPool Fund expenditure guidelines. The project involved atotal of 70 schools; 50 intervention schools and 20 controlschools split equally across both districts. The targetedschools had been found to have the greatest needfollowing a vulnerability assessment exercise and theyincluded both community and GRZ schools enlisted forGovernment funding.The capacity of the school administration, SchoolCommittees at Zone and District levels was developed tohandle specified tasks in the Project’s Operational Manual.This therefore, boosted the school’s capacity to managethe grants provided as well as effectively implement theplanned project activities such as construction of schoolinfrastructure, purchase of requisite teaching materials,management of school assets etc.The Operational Manual specified the roles and providedexamples of standard practices for staff from Care Zambiaand the Ministry of Education officials in the project. Withthis guiding document in place, it was easier for all projectpartners (District Education Office, CARE staff, the schooladministration and Zonal Committees) to identify theirroles and execute them as required. This thereforeenhanced project efficiency and effectiveness.Intervention Schools received funding at the rate of K20,000 per pupil in term 1 and K30,000 per pupil interms 2 and 3. The funds were to be accessed during the
Capacity BuildinStandards Funding 
Kazungula
      D      i     s      t     r      i     c      t     s
Katete02032926884060Percentages80100120ComGRZ
Proportions of Community Schools and GRZ Schools
 
first week of every term. The project also targeted fundsfor the Zonal head teachers at the rate of K65,000 perschool in term 1 and K100,000 in terms 2 and 3. Districtoffices were funded at 17% of the total district budget toenable them monitor TG activities and meet otheradministrative requirements (1US$ = ZMK3,700 January2008).
T
hrough direct targeting of methods developed inconjunction with MoE, selected schools were provided anopportunity to receive supplemental grants to augmentexisting MoE funding. The development of school selectioncriteria also provided an opportunity to study 70 of themost vulnerable schools in Katete and Kazungula districtswhere the Term Grants project was implemented. Theoutcomes of this will contribute to building the evidenceneeded to support the Government of Zambia socialprotection initiatives as outlined in the Fifth NationalDevelopment Plan.
Lessons Learned Funding based on pupil enrolment 
enabledschools to receive more grant money than under theSector Pool Fund system where enrolment was not a
Targeting of Grants
factor and the amount received was insufficient tohave meaningful impact.
District and Zonal Education Offices 
 resulted in schools receiving 100% of the fundsdesignated for them; something which was not thecase under the Sector Pool Fund system. Accordingto the ESDS Survey findings in 2004, no more thanone third of total discretionary funding eventuallyreached schools.
Community participation in the planning and implementation of school activitie
 enhanced school and community partnerships in theprovision of quality education. It also createdanother layer of accountability at school level.
Funding schools on the basis of agreed activity plans 
greatly increases the chance thatthe money will be used for the intended purpose.
Funds for the District and Zonal Education office were used for frequent monitoring visits 
to ensure that interventionschools operated within their agreed activity plansand budgets. This was in contrast to the Sector PoolFund system where some schools could not be
Allocation of separate funds for the 
Social Protection
 Adult Pupils with their Teacher (standing) in a rehabilitated classroom in Kazungula
 
monitored or assessed for more than a year oftendue to lack of resources.
to districts 
enabled schools to access their moneywithin the first week of the term.
Disbursement of funds by cheque 
and therequirement that three people (including acommunity representative) from each school to cashthe cheque enhanced accountability in thedisbursement of funds.
Community participation in the cashing of cheques, purchase of goods and implementation of project activitie
 enhanced partnership between the school and thecommunity. These partnerships were important forthe continuation of good practices introduced by theTerm Grant project.
Use of reconciliation forms forced schools to develop a culture of balancing budgets against actual expenditure 
hence developingthe capacity for schools to handle public funds.
By requiring intervention schools to provide accurate information about progress made in reducing vulnerability 
 through the use of school performance forms it waspossible to plan better for the following term. Thiswas in contrast to the Sector Pool Fund system,where there was no specific way of measuringreduced vulnerability at the level of a school and,thus, planning interventions for the following term.Schools used Sector Pool Funding guidelines to allocatefunds; 50% for Infrastructure, 35% for Free BasicEducation (FBE), 10% for Orphans and VulnerableChildren (OVCs) and 5% for School Health and Nutrition(SHN). Activities under infrastructure included construction of classroom blocks, teachers’ houses, improved ventilationin pit latrines (VIPs), and purchase and rehabilitation of desks. Schools bought text books, exercise books, pencils,rubbers, pens, chalkboards and chalk under FBE. Differentcommodities such as uniforms, shoes, clothes, blankets
Utilisation of Grant Funds
Release of funds by CARE Zambia directly 
 A CARE International in Zambia Learning Product
Delivery and Accounting of Funds 
 Schools planned for activities and made budgets, which were approved by Zonal Committees. The Zonal Committee submitted the plans and budgets to District offices, which in turn submitted these to CARE Zambia who released funds directly to the District Education Board Secretaries in Katete and Kazungula districts. The District Education Offices prepared cheques which were collected and cashed by schools in the first week.
and sometimes food stuffs were purchased using the OVCallocation. Under SHN, schools bought buckets for drawingwater, basins and soap for washing hands along withlivestock, fertilizer and seed to improve the nutritionalstatus of pupils. Although the utilization of funds followed the MoE SectorPool funding guidelines, beneficiary schools were giventhe liberty to vary expenditure in consultation with theDistrict Education Office and CARE Staff based oncommunity identified needs. This flexibility in the use of funds therefore provided an opportunity to respond tomore urgent community problems as opposed to sectorwide intervention which would constrain limited funds.
Lessons learned With funds for infrastructure, schools either completed or started new classroom blocks and teachers houses.
 Other schools rehabilitated some classrooms andbought new desks, thereby improving the teachingand learning environment.
Pupil enrolment in intervention schools increased 
because the improved teaching andlearning environment attracted pupils from nearbyschools. The number of OVCs in school alsoincreased due the support services schools were ableto establish using the TG funds. Nearby schoolsfunded through the Sector Pool Fund system beganto lose pupils as they became less attractive.Recipient schools did however, face challenges of toomany pupils coming from outside the normal schoolcatchment areas thereby creating undesirable higherpupil/ teacher ratios. 
Most schools involved in the TG intervention never ran out of teaching and learning material
such as chalk,chalkboards, exercise books, pencils and rubbers, foruse by both teachers and pupils. The availability of 
Some Teaching Aids bought using Term Grants

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