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Exit Strategies: How to Ensure Sustainability of Impact after Program Exit

Beatrice Lorge Rogers Research Team: Jennifer Coates Katie Houk, Elizabeth Kegode, Leslie Sanchez TOPS FNS Knowledge Management Workshop Addis Ababa, June 11, 2012

• FANTA2 and USAID Food for Peace • Research team
– Tufts team – Research collaborators in country

• Cooperating sponsor agencies • Community counterparts • Community members
The authors have no conflict of interest to report

Overview of Session
• Exit Strategies Results to Date (30 mins) • Breakout: (20 mins)
– How feasible is it to incorporate these principles into your own programs? Which ones?

• Report out and discussion (20 mins) • The way forward: future contributions of TOPS activities (15 mins)

Overview of the Exit Strategy Study
• Rationale
– Title II programs closing in non-priority countries – Little systematic knowledge of how to maintain program impacts – Effectiveness of Title II programs depends on both short term impact and long term sustainability – Immediate and long term impact may be trade-offs

Overview of the Exit Strategy Study
• Goal: Provide guidance to Food for Peace and to Cooperating Sponsors
– General approaches to planning for program exit – Key elements of an exit strategy, including development and implementation – How to build sustainability into program design from the beginning

Objective of Exit Strategy Study • Identify program characteristics that make it possible to sustain program effects after the program shuts down • Determine whether implementing explicit exit strategies contributes to sustainability • Provide guidance to future programs on how to exit while assuring sustainability .

Key Concepts • Sustainability – Sustainability of activities – Sustainability of impacts – Expansion of activities and improvement of impact – Long term sustainability may compete with short term impact • Exit – From specific activities – Departure of CS from the area .

Key Concepts • Phase out: program activities stop. benefits/effects are presumed to be lasting without further input • Phase over: responsibility for program activities is transferred to another entity – – – – Community based organization Government (local to national) Key individuals Another NGO or donor .

benchmarks for progress.Key Concepts • Exit strategy – Explicit plan for transition from program support to exit – Specifies approach to exit: phase over (to whom). phase out (of resources) – Includes timeline. mechanisms for monitoring and allocation of responsibility for ensuring progress – Should be part of long term program implementation – Often called ‘sustainability plan’ in agency documents .

development of financing sources Transfer and Phaseout Sustainable Design .Sustainability Throughout the Project Cycle Independent operation of services and systems Partnership formation. demand creation Capacity development.

determine critical periods for success – Qualitative and quantitative data two years after exit • Mix of qualitative and quantitative data • Data collection now complete except in India .Methods: Overview of Study • Three phases – Baseline at time of exit – qualitative – Quantitative end line evaluations from agencies – Qualitative description one year after exit – to identify the trajectory of program development.

Methods: Overview of the Study Study Locations • • • • • Bolivia Kenya Honduras India Selection is based on – Programs judged to have had impact – Programs implemented explicit exit strategies or incorporated sustainability plans .

Program Technical Sectors • • • • Maternal and child health and nutrition Agricultural production/income generation Potable water and sanitation Livestock sector development – Paravets – Market development • Micro-finance and micro-lending • Natural resource management • Infrastructure .

Hypothesized Factors Contributing to Sustainability RESOURCES • Self financing business model • Legal registration • Alternative sources of resources are operational • Food ration withdrawal CAPACITY • Access to continued training • Technical and managerial • System for identifying and training replacements MOTIVATION • Visible benefit • Profits/Income • Felt need in community • High community participation • Prestige and social respect LINKAGES • Vertical and horizontal linkages • Long-term contracts • Designated responsible party for supervision STRATEGIES Phase over at most local level possible Post-project source of resources identified and tested Build capacity at most local level Explicit ES benchmarks and timelines Advance communication to stakeholders about exit Independent operation before exit (exit transition is gradual) .

Health Sector Exit Strategies .

Health Sector Exit Strategies • Capacity – CHWs would continue using knowledge and skills after the project ended. – Rations for supplementary feeding to be replaced with local foods. growth charts) to be provided by the MOH after phaseover. • Resources: – Resources for service delivery (eg. Scales. .

.Health Sector Exit Strategies • Motivation: – CHWs would rely intangible incentives. like community respect – Mothers would be motivated by visible improvements in child health • Linkages: – Horizontal: CHWs would meet regularly as a group – Vertical: Government will provide oversight and supervision after end of project.

Health Sector Exit Strategies • Self financing model is not feasible in health sector • Government support for health activities depends on resources. commitment and capacity • Motivation for CHWs diminished unless linkages with formal health sector and demand for services were maintained .

Health Sector Exit Strategies • Health behaviors were maintained – depending on resource cost • Participation in growth monitoring sessions fell off .

Ag Sector Exit Strategies .

– Farmers Associations would have technical and mgmt skills to continue • Resources: – Ag inputs would be purchased from profits from crop sales • Linkages – Value chain linkages would continue to strengthen – Government ag extension workers would provide some technical support • Motivation: – Benefits – income improvements .demonstrated during project would motivate continuation .Ag Sector Exit Strategies • Capacity – Knowledge taught by Extension farmers would be selfsustaining.

Ag Sector Exit Strategies • Commercialization of production was the key to sustainability in agricultural interventions • Gradual withdrawal allowed farmer marketing groups to develop independent functioning • Capacity building to manage commercial activities was key .

Water/Sanitation Exit Strategies .

Water/Sanitation Exit Strategies • Capacity: – Technicians trained in maintenance and repair – Water committees trained to manage funds • Resources: – User fees cover expenses • Incentives: – Beneficiary appreciation of piped water in home – No such appreciation of microbiological quality • Linkages: – Vertical linkages for water quality testing. horizontal linkages for cross-community committee support • Technical quality of the infrastructure is critical • Access to adequate water source is necessary .

Water/Sanitation Exit Strategies • System of user fees to support maintenance of water systems was the critical element in sustainability of water systems • Depends on willingness to pay (beneficiaries) and capacity to enforce (water committees) • Willingness to pay depends on quality and reliability of water supply .

Livestock Sector Sustainability Strategies .

Community-based Animal Health Workers • Capacity: – Train Community Based Animal Health Worker (CBAHW) or Paravets/“Peritos” who will assume primary responsibility after project. – Government to provide extension support . • Resources: – Fee-for-service structure and access to microfinance • Motivation – Willingness to pay for perceived benefit to livestock • Vertical Linkages: – Government veterinary officers engaged in training and field visits.

• Vertical Linkages: – LMMCs linked to various government institutions – Joint trainings and sectoral evaluations. such as privileged access to market and price data. • Phase-out: Responsibility left to LMMCs .Livestock Sector Market Support • Capacity: Livestock marketing management committees (LMMCs) and radio operators trained • Resources: Market user-fees • Incentives: In-kind benefits for LMMC members.

Livestock Sector • Paravet system works because of fee for service model and paravet access to training through government ministry • Livestock market committees work because they are institutionalized and demand for services is sustained – market user fees are paid • Drought. cattle raids threaten ability to pay .

Microfinance Sector Sustainability Strategies .

visible impact.• Capacity: Individuals savings and loan groups trained • Resources: No outside capital required. Donations made to support group operations. • Motivation: Credit. field agents receive payment for services. Women save and take loans. • Linkages: COSAMO savings groups linked to a community field agent who is tied to MFI Microfinance Sector Sustainability Strategies .

• Incentives: Credit. agency support only as “technical resource” after first savings cycle. • Linkages: Women’s groups are training new groups Strategies: • Graduated independent operation. • groups inspiring new activity – groups training new groups. Women save and take loans. huge visible impact. . field agents receive payment for services. female empowerment. Donations made to support group operations.COSAMO: Microfinance Success Story • Capacity: Individuals savings and loan groups trained to manage their groups • Resources: No outside capital required.

Natural Resource Management Exit Strategies .

Natural Resource Management Strategies • Capacity: – Communities trained in construction and maintenance of NRM infrastructure • Resources: – Establish functioning businesses (e.g. greenhouses) – Incorporate into local government plans (budgets and oversight) • Motivation: Contributes to productive agricultural activity .

FFW no longer needed • Phase out is possible if permanent changes are made .Natural Resource Management Strategies • Sustainability was achieved when interventions met short term visible needs and provided tangible material benefit • When this is the case.

Infrastructure Exit Strategies .

CBOs recognize benefits and fund maintenance • Motivation: Clear benefits may motivate volunteer labor • Linkages: • Quality of construction is critical .Infrastructure Exit Strategies • Capacity: Train community members in construction and maintenance • Resources: Municipalities.

What’s Working: Resources • Self-financing business models (water [irrigation. microcredit) • Funds from government or other external source (inherent risk) • Vertical linkages. microenterprises. if resources are there to support those linkages – Health sector – Ag marketing contracts . household] paravets) • Profits/increased income (agriculture.

• High quality assets and technical capacity developed during the project were maintained .What’s Working: Capacity • Behavior change is sustained where new resources are not required or when they are available.

What’s Working: Withdrawal • Gradual phase over of responsibility • Creating community awareness of its roles and responsibilities after exit from the outset • Philosophy of sustainability from program design to withdrawal. • Longer duration of operation in a community prior to exit (when agencies also manage expectations of permanence). .

or when their priorities shift.What’s Not Working: Withdrawal • Withdrawal of food rations (as incentive/pay): jeopardize sustainability of program activities when there is no consideration of substitute incentives • Food rations: created unsustainable expectations • Vertical linkages with government. • Horizontal linkages: mixed results . where governments are understaffed and under-resourced.

microenterprises) – Funds from government or other external source (inherent risk) .Preliminary Conclusions • Motivation to continue activities and practices must be combined with the necessary resources and technical capacity – Tangible benefit is critical. irrigation) – Profits/increased income (agriculture. but capacity and resources equally so • Source of material resources – Business model (potable water.

Preliminary Conclusions • Quality of assets produced and technical capacity are critical • Interventions and exit/sustainability plans must be adapted to the local context – Resource availability – Local institutions .

Preliminary Conclusions • Exit is more successful if community is aware of its roles and responsibilities after exit • Exit is more successful if phase over of responsibility is gradual – transition to independent functioning .

governments at all levels may be understaffed and under-resourced .Preliminary Conclusions • Building on institutional priorities of the government can be successful if commitment is long term and resources are available – Willingness to pay for “public” services can jeopardize resource flows • Government priorities shift.

Preliminary Conclusions • Different program components can reinforce each other – Water/sanitation with health – Agriculture/RIG with natural resources – Agriculture/RIG with nutrition (diet) • Withdrawal of food rations (as incentive/pay) can jeopardize sustainability of program activities if there is no consideration of substitute incentives • And food rations may have created unsustainable expectations .

Summary • Motivation: Tangible benefit is key to sustainability • Resources: Source of resources is critical • Capacity building must be both technical and managerial • Time operating in community less important than hypothesized • Importance of vertical linkages depends on sector and capacity .

Summary • Horizontal linkages depend on context and sector • Sustainability should be built into the design of programs from the beginning • Multiple elements of sustainability must be implemented together – all are necessary .


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