Final Evaluation of the Micro Credit Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2008-2011, Trinidad and Tobago
Evaluation Type:
Project
Planned End Date:
11/2008
Completion Date:
01/2008
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
21,000

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Title Final Evaluation of the Micro Credit Project
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2008-2011, Trinidad and Tobago
Evaluation Type: Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 01/2008
Planned End Date: 11/2008
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty and MDG
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Capacities of national and local institutions enhanced to scale up proven MDG acceleration interventions and to plan, monitor, report and evaluate the MDG progress in the context of related national development priorities
Evaluation Budget(US $): 21,000
Source of Funding: Government Cost Sharing
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Natasha Ramkissoon Team Leader
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Social Development ; Micro Credit sector
Countries: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 To develop standard legal instruments and methodologies to deal with delinquent MEL Clients
2 To develop performance targets in terms of generating loans and delinquency control linked to stipend payments. Each CBO should generate a minimum of three loans per month.
3 The MEL CBO should be encouraged to source grant funding for lending purposes from external agencies. Refer to Appendix 4 for the story of Fonkoze Haiti. Fonkoze is a Micro-credit NGO in Haiti that was started by Father Joseph Philippe. The story of Fonkoze shows how the NGO was able to source funding and create organizational linkages. In just 10 years, Fonkoze has grown from a few founding members with a vision to a family of mutually reinforcing institutions that includes Fonkoze, Fonkoze USA, and Fonkoze Financial Services. Together, they are employing more than 280 people, serving close to 60,000 clients, and impacting the lives the tens of thousands more. The family of Fonkoze institutions has indeed become a lasting institution on which the poor of Haiti can rely.
4 Create a learning mechanism among the MEL CBOs in order to share experiences, knowledge, best practices and success stories. It is proposed that there should be bi-annual structured meetings among the MEL CBOs. External guests such as Programme Experts, a successful MEL Client or soft and business trainers can be invited to specific sessions for the meetings. In addition, a simple MEL E-zine can be designed to share relevant information, updates and achievements on a quarterly basis. The responsibility for preparing and e-mailing /faxing the MEL e-zine can also be rotated among the MEL CBOs.
5 The MEL programme has expanded to the point where there is need for a full-time coordinator. Assisting in the sourcing of grant funds should be one of the responsibilities of this coordinator as well as to monitor the programme to ensure performance targets are being met. The MEL coordinator can also assist in the implementation of the learning mechanism and the MEL e-zine as well as ensure that once the performance targets are met the CBO can receive their stipend promptly
6 The development of a Human Resources Policy for the MEL Programme. There are several HR challenges within the MEL programme such as family members being part of the MEL staff in the same CBO, limited succession planning, MEL staff members accessing loans and no mechanism to transfer skills and capacity when trained programme staff leaves the CBO. A well structured Human Resource Policy will guide the CBOs in these critical areas.
1. Recommendation: To develop standard legal instruments and methodologies to deal with delinquent MEL Clients
Management Response: [Added: 2010/01/21] [Last Updated: 2010/01/21]

It is apparent from the evaluation that the assumption that low levels of delinquency would be maintained through social coercion yeilds different results in different communities. UNDP agreeees that there is a need for the introduction of a legal instrument. This however can only be done if the leal status of the MEL community groups is changed . This may have to be a consideration for the GOvernment in the next stage in the programmee.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP to propose to the Project Steering Committee that the Legal Department of the MInistry of Social Development look into changing the legal status of the MEL groups
[Added: 2010/01/21]
Programme Manager UNDP 2010/02 Overdue-Not Initiated
2. Recommendation: To develop performance targets in terms of generating loans and delinquency control linked to stipend payments. Each CBO should generate a minimum of three loans per month.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/01/21] [Last Updated: 2010/01/21]

UNDP endorses this the suggestion of setting performance targets. Information on performance targets can be gleaned from the current reporting system and can be verified from monitoring visits. It would be difficult to link the achievement of monthly target to stipend payments. Perhaps a quarterly incentive system may work better.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP to recommend quarterly incentives for MEL COmmunity groups. These can be in-kind incentives.
[Added: 2010/01/21]
UNDP Programme Offier 2008/02 Overdue-Not Initiated
3. Recommendation: The MEL CBO should be encouraged to source grant funding for lending purposes from external agencies. Refer to Appendix 4 for the story of Fonkoze Haiti. Fonkoze is a Micro-credit NGO in Haiti that was started by Father Joseph Philippe. The story of Fonkoze shows how the NGO was able to source funding and create organizational linkages. In just 10 years, Fonkoze has grown from a few founding members with a vision to a family of mutually reinforcing institutions that includes Fonkoze, Fonkoze USA, and Fonkoze Financial Services. Together, they are employing more than 280 people, serving close to 60,000 clients, and impacting the lives the tens of thousands more. The family of Fonkoze institutions has indeed become a lasting institution on which the poor of Haiti can rely.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/01/21] [Last Updated: 2010/01/21]

UNDP endorses this recommendation for those MEL COmmunity groups that have demonstrated that they are sustainable even in the absence of Goverment subsidization. UNDP may be able to have a role in linking these Community groups to funding sources.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP to inform Executing Agency of its position.
[Added: 2010/01/21]
UNDP programme Officer 2008/02 Overdue-Not Initiated
4. Recommendation: Create a learning mechanism among the MEL CBOs in order to share experiences, knowledge, best practices and success stories. It is proposed that there should be bi-annual structured meetings among the MEL CBOs. External guests such as Programme Experts, a successful MEL Client or soft and business trainers can be invited to specific sessions for the meetings. In addition, a simple MEL E-zine can be designed to share relevant information, updates and achievements on a quarterly basis. The responsibility for preparing and e-mailing /faxing the MEL e-zine can also be rotated among the MEL CBOs.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/01/21]

This mechanism already exists but can be strengthened by structuring it and having a regular schedule for these sessions. A structured learning space can provide a platform for UNDP to share regional and global lessons learned on attempts to make productive assests available to the poor and vulnerable. As well it can be a platform for advocacy on other issues.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP to assist in accessing and sharing new knowledge
[Added: 2010/01/21]
UNDP Programme OFficer 2008/01 Overdue-Not Initiated
5. Recommendation: The MEL programme has expanded to the point where there is need for a full-time coordinator. Assisting in the sourcing of grant funds should be one of the responsibilities of this coordinator as well as to monitor the programme to ensure performance targets are being met. The MEL coordinator can also assist in the implementation of the learning mechanism and the MEL e-zine as well as ensure that once the performance targets are met the CBO can receive their stipend promptly
Management Response: [Added: 2010/01/21]

This proposal was already made by UNDP and was endorsed by the Executing Agency and recruitment process undertaken. Implementation was however shevled as the economic meltdown led to a reduction of expenditure Government. UNDP endorses this recommendation and will indicate this to the Executing Agency, Ministry of Social Development

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Endorsement of recommendaion to be communicated to Ministry of Social Development
[Added: 2010/01/21]
UNDP Programme Officer 2008/02 Overdue-Not Initiated
6. Recommendation: The development of a Human Resources Policy for the MEL Programme. There are several HR challenges within the MEL programme such as family members being part of the MEL staff in the same CBO, limited succession planning, MEL staff members accessing loans and no mechanism to transfer skills and capacity when trained programme staff leaves the CBO. A well structured Human Resource Policy will guide the CBOs in these critical areas.
Management Response: [Added: 2010/01/21] [Last Updated: 2010/01/21]

This recommendation is endorsed by UNDP. In addition to the HR Policy, UNDP recommends that since the project is in its closing phase it should offer management training to all the MEL executives. The HR policy can be introduced during this training and its importance emphasized. This is an importance policy to introduce as weaknesses in management capacity and the non-existence of HR and other policies can weaken the community groups and impact on the overall capacity building effort.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP to taable as an item for discussion at the Steering Committee meeting
[Added: 2010/01/21]
UNDP PRogramme Officer 2008/02 Overdue-Not Initiated

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