Main results of research on impact of NSIFT project on beneficiaries
1. Aim of research
The aim of research is to assess the impact of the Second project on mitigating poverty problems in the Republic of Tajikistan on beneficiaries realized by National Social Investment Fund of Tajikistan (NSIFT), which was conducted after its completion in the period of September 2006 – May 2007. Main quantitative and qualitative indicators, which show the presence of project’s impact, are given in this presentation in a concise and simplified form. Key lessons learned are also formulated in the presentation and some recommendations are brought, which could be used further by NSIFT, government and partners to improve work. Readers, who would like to receive more detailed information about researches, may contact NSIFT to get familiarized with main reports.
1.2 Main recipients
Given presentation is intended for broad audience of participants in the process of fight against poverty and improvement of social life of Tajikistan’s population:
representatives of community and nongovernmental organization,
heads of jamoats, district and regional Hukumats,
representatives of government structures and parliament,
as well as donors and other actors.
Presentation might also be interesting to those who are interested in studying the state of social investment sector in Tajikistan, and those who would like to form an opinion on NSIFT activities at the time of finalizing the second project on fight against poverty.
2. How were results obtained?
To guarantee compliance with all rules in process of determining (assessing) impact, and thus to obtain wide trust from partners/donors, researches adhered to the rule “golden standard” (as recently the used methodology is called), which suggests compliance of the following assessment aspects:
Understanding project and its context
Probabilistic random selection of communities and respondents
Comparison of communities, where the project operated, and communities without project
Comparison of development indicators before and after project work
Inclusion of quantitative and qualitative indicators in observation
Provision of project sustainability, directed to long-term perspective
Statistical representation of results
Research methodology is based on studying quantitative and qualitative indicators, which allow identifying the impact of NSIFT on its beneficiaries. The method “difference of differences” was used for quantitative analysis, where indicators before project implementation (2002) and after project implementation (2007) are compared. Since changes during the given period can occur not only due to NSIFT activity but also due to other processes, comparison of communities, where NSIFT operated, with communities, where NSIFT did not operate, is also used.
Thus, the survey on a specially prepared questionnaire was conducted in 36 NSIFT communities (from the list of realized micro-projects until 01.01.2006) and in other 36 communities, where NSIFT did not work. It is necessary to note that only those quantitative indicators, which are statistically significant, are used in the study, and this gives reason to consider that carried out measurements reflect real picture. Results are also representative as community and household selection was conducted randomly and weight coefficients were used, which take into account the probability of each household getting into research. There was a possibility to compare data with NSIFT reports for some of indicators, and a good correspondence was established. For example, the number of people, who participated in trainings, given in NSIFT reports (as of 01.01.2006) is 23155 people, whereas by research measurement - 22124 people. Numbers differ by 4%, which can be explained by measurement error, as well as by the fact that NSIFT might have counted one person several times if that person participated in several trainings. The given observation was conducted only in typologies with large investments, and minor percentage of “other” typologies is not covered. Correspondence shows that NSIFT reporting is reliable.
In order to clarify quantitative indicators, researches by qualitative methods were conducted:
Meetings with community representatives (focus groups) in 4 communities, where NSIFT was operating. Live conversation with community representatives helped to better understand obtained quantitative results and the subtleties of impact mechanisms of activities by NSIFT projects. It was also important to identify possible limitations in order to draw appropriate lessons and prepare recommendations on improvement of project activities.
The most common four projects were researched by “case-study” method, in order to indentify specifics of implementation and to obtain successful/unsuccessful forms and ways of project impact, as well as determining consolidation and dissemination mechanisms of successful results.
Interviews with representatives from ministries, departments, and territorial authorities that work with NSIFT in partnership, have helped to construct a more complete reproduction picture of NSIFT positive impact and develop proposals to improve activity of future projects.