Tuinuane Impact and programme evaluation
Background: The Tuinuane Women Project was initiated by and is run by the Free Pentecostal Fellowship in Kenya (FPFK). FPFK has about 30.000 members in most parts of Kenya. The project is supported technically and financially by PYM. The project started in 2005 as a continuation of a literacy programme that had run since 1999. By mid-2007 around 230 women’s groups have been trained and followed-up in their effort to save and give out loans to each other. Purpose/objective: The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the efficiency and operational concerns in relation to technical, financial and administrative functions of the project. The evaluation also made inquiries on effectiveness of the project by assessing the level of outputs realized in relation to set goals and objectives. The evaluation should also analyze the adjustments in the project since the beginning. This being an end of project evaluation, impact and change realized within the lives of beneficiaries was assessed for the various interventions carried out by the project over the four year period.The process further sought to determine the degree of sustainability and to analyze the added value of the church in the project. Methodology: The evaluation used a participatory approach that engaged staff, stakeholders and the Steering Committee, national board and PYM through structured methods. The methods that were thought to be most useful were: Desk study of Project Documents, visits to communities and families, interview with beneficiaries, Focus Group Discussions. Key findings:The evaluation looked at two main areas: the impact of the project on the lives of participants and the effectiveness and sustainability of the project itself.Regarding the impact, owing to the lack of baseline and control-group data, definitive impact conclusions are necessarily qualified. • There was a marked shift away from informal systems of savings towards Tuinuane and banks.• There was an even more marked reduced dependency on family members and shopkeepers for credit. • Tuinuane seems to satisfy the majority in terms of savings and credit services. Of the two services savings was by far the more popular, with credit demand substantially satisfied by group performing assets.• There was clear evidence of housing improvement for a small percentage.• There was a dramatic improvement in access to medical services and in the amount of food consumed.• There was a small improvement in the number of family-based income-generating activities and an increase in the number of female workplaces in family-owned enterprises, with most staying in operation for longer.• There were significant improvements in participants’ perceptions of their social status, which was largely ascribed to improved income derived from family IGAs, capitalized by Tuinuane loans and member savings.• Intra-family relationships were generally better, since the female Tuinuane members were now able to make a financial contribution to the household, though offset to some degree by the need of some members to hide savings and borrowings from their husbands. Regarding the project itself, Tuinuane has achieved its targets in terms of the numbers of groups trained (exceeded by 65) and the number of members reached (estimated at 7,000). The quality of Tuinuane groups is mixed, but most of the groups met during evaluation are solid and enjoy popular support. They provide a safe and accountable place to save and borrow and are accessible and quick to respond to members’ needs. They are a far better alternative to traditional systems of savings and credit and have proven to be inherently sustainable. The growth in membership, low dropout rates and high rates of attendance indicate strong support from members. Nevertheless, they remain vulnerable for the following reasons: Tuinuane uses a centralized, remote training system that does not give groups enough technical support and supervision. Overall Tuinuane has been successful and has achieved most of what it set out to do. It has proven that the model is appropriate to the needs of a traditionally hard-to-serve target group and the groups are sustainable. But it is doing so at high cost and with insufficient contact time with the groups so as to guarantee consistency, transparency and a safe stewardship of members’ investments. It is also unable to measure the profitability and financial efficiency of the groups it has trained. Recommendations:• There is a strong need for a community-based system of self-financing service delivery, based on community-embedded trainers. This is the only way to drive costs down, maintain overall efficiencies and raise contact-time to the level needed to guarantee a high standard of programme quality. This will also enable the (highly committed, conscientious and professional) team in Nairobi to expand outreach at a much greater rate than in the past.• The financial parts of the MIS needs to be reformed, to provide group-by-group and aggregate performance figures in real time, rather than aggregated by the stages through which the groups have passed at different times. • Record keeping system is too complex and needs to be redesigned. Comments from the organisation, if any:Most recommendations have already been taken into consideration so far in new project period (mid 2010), among these are:• Community based, Local field agents, are the core of the new outreach strategy of Tuinuane. In second phase of the project, staff has already started to identify and recruit field agents in some “old areas”, whose main role is to mobilize and train new groups and to monitor existing groups. This will reduce cost and secure more technical support and monitoring of the groups.• To improve monitoring of the groups, Tuinuane has acquired a Management Information System (MIS), developed by VSLA. Project staff attended a VSLA training seminar in October 2009.• Baseline study: A detailed plan, based on sampling methodology for impact monitoring, has been worked out together with a hired local consultant. The study will take place in mid 2010.• Record keeping system has been redesigned and made less complex.