Making Rural Services Work for the Poor and Women: An Institutional Analysis of Agricultural Extension and Drinking Water in Four Districts in Ethiopia
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Making Rural Services Work for the Poor and Women: An Institutional Analysis of Agricultural Extension and Drinking Water in Four Districts in Ethiopia

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Ethiopian Development Research Institute(EDRI) and IFPRI Ethiopia Strategy Support Program 2 (IFPRI-ESSP2) Seminar Series ...

Ethiopian Development Research Institute(EDRI) and IFPRI Ethiopia Strategy Support Program 2 (IFPRI-ESSP2) Seminar Series
November 12, 2009

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  • 1. Making Rural Services Work for the Poor and Women: An Institutional Analysis of Agricultural Extension and Drinking Water in Four Districts in Ethiopia Marc J. Cohen, Oxfam America Mamusha Lemma, Consultant
  • 2. Rationale of Research Project • Agriculture is back on the international development agenda • Providing agricultural and rural services has remained a major challenge • How to reach millions of farmers even in remote areas? • Governance reforms • Decentralization – involving local communities in service delivery – public sector reforms • What works where and why? • What works for the rural poor and for women?
  • 3. Project Background • Part of three-country research project • Implemented by International Food Policy Research Institute • Funded by World Bank • Research in Ethiopia, India, and Ghana • Focus on agricultural extension and drinking water • Q-squared approach – quantitative and qualitative • Ethiopia study carried out in collaboration with Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute
  • 4. Ethiopia Research Design • Research in 8 woredas in Afar, Amhara, Beneshangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Oromia, SNNPR, Tigray • Four pairs of adjoining woredas • In three pairs, one woreda in a ―leading‖ region • Woreda government responsible for service provision • Neighboring woreda in an ―emerging‖ region • Service provision remains a regional responsibility • In one pair: Amhara and Tigray—de facto differences in history of local empowerment Page 4
  • 5. Qualitative Research • Carried out in four woredas (two pairs) • Amhara–Tigray • Beneshangul-Gumuz–Oromia • Methodology • Semi-structured key informant interviews • Focus group discussions • Semi-structured interviews • Social network mapping • 108 total interviews
  • 6. Persons Interviewed in Woreda Capitals • Administrator • Council Speaker • Budget, agriculture, water, women’s affairs officials • Cooperative union leader • Women’s Association leader • Party leader Only qualitative case studies at woreda level; no surveys conducted
  • 7. Kebele Interviews • Chairperson • Manager • Council Speaker • Cabinet members responsible for agriculture, water, and women’s affairs • Extension agents • Water committee members • Women’s Association leader • Cooperative leader • Party leader • Men and women farmers
  • 8. What are the Challenges of Rural Servcie Provision? • Challenges to make the market mechanism work • Public good – merit good – externalities • Challenges for the public sector • Transaction-intensive in terms of space and time • Requiring discretion – difficult to standardize (extension) • Challenges of involving local communities • Local elite capture, social exclusion • Capacity problems • Key to meeting the challenge: Creating accountability!
  • 9. National / State-level National / State-level Political Representatives (NP) Ministries (NM) Political Parties (PP) Local Political Development Representatives (LP) Agencies / Advocacy NGOs (DA) Community-Based Organizations (CO) Household Public Sector Members (HH) Service Providers (PS) NGO / Private service providers (NG) Services Accountability Framework based on World Bank (2004)
  • 10. Focus of Ethiopia Study • Access to agricultural extension • High policy attention to extension, and increasing adaptation of packages • Knowledge gap: How much outreach has been actually achieved so far in different regions? How well does the delivery mechanism work? • Gender dimension of agricultural extension • General government commitment to gender equality • Knowledge gap: To what extent do agricultural extension services address the needs of female farmers? • Drinking water supply • Government efforts to increase water supply through decentralized provision, led by community-based water committees • Knowledge gap: How do these delivery methods actually work on the ground?
  • 11. Decentralization: Bringing Government to the Community
  • 12. Decentralization in Theory and Practice • Theory: Woreda as the hub in which bottom-up kebele development planning is harmonized with regional and federal policy guidance But in practice: • Woreda decentralization only in four regions • Woredas remain dependent on regional and federal governments for funds, and planning guidance is more than indicative • Personnel costs absorb much of budget • Woreda governments say they lack discretion • Many kebeles see a breach of social contract
  • 13. Agricultural Extension
  • 14. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 30% 25% Extension visits farm/home Attend extensionist's community meetings Visit demonstration plots Visit demonstration homes Trained at Farmer Training Centre Service by cooperative Men Agricultural EEPRI-IFPRI Survey, 2009 input credit Women Access to different forms of extension
  • 15. Access to extension by survey site (percent of respondents) 60 54 50 39 39 37 40 30 27 27 25 24 24 20 18 15 13 11 10 8 2 1 0 Visited by extension agent at farm or home Attended extension agent’s community meetings EEPRI-IFPRI Survey, 2009
  • 16. Satisfaction with agricultural extension (percent of respondents) 100 90 80 70 Very dissatisfied 60 50 Somewhat 92.5 95.4 dissatisfied 40 Somewhat 30 satisfied 20 Very satisfied 10 0 HH Heads Spouses
  • 17. Extension Agents’ Interaction with Farmers • Deployment of agents to kebeles increaseas awareness of community concerns and potential • Service provision remains top-down • Accountability is to woreda officials • Promotion and training depend on enrolling farmers in extension ―packages‖ • Extension training is technical • Also need training in community mobilization and gender issues • Farmers complain that agents focus mainly on mobilizing labor contributions • ―Stone-carrying participation‖
  • 18. Agents’ Interaction with Female Farmers • Perception bias: ―Women don’t farm in Ethiopia‖ • Therefore, don’t need extension services • Cultural barriers make it difficult for male agents to work with women • Women’s Associations and female political leaders may help overcome barriers, e.g. by organizing women’s extension groups • Extension agents tend to deal with household heads, so advise farm wives via their husbands • Even on women’s activities such as poultry raising and home gardening
  • 19. Evolution in Extension Services • Strong policy commitment to gender equality • Gender audits and focal points in woreda governments • Expansion of extension service means more women agents (10% in study woredas) • Packages are now more flexible, but ―women’s package‖ not tailored to female household heads • E.g., focus on poultry • Ignores that female household heads may spend much time providing weeding services to other farmers, making poultry raising impractical
  • 20. Conclusions and Policy Implications • Reducing regional disparities in access to extension • Federal support to emerging regions already ongoing • What additional strategies could be used? • Strategies to better target female farmers • Linking extension with women’s groups • Increasing female staff among extension agents and supervisors • Integrating community development and gender analysis into extension curriculum
  • 21. Conclusions and Policy Implications • Making extension more demand-driven • Trade-off • Better supervision in case of package approach • Allow adaptation to diverse local conditions and farmer demands • How to increase discretion of extension agents, while using other mechanisms to create accountability? • Recent policy changes (Implemented after this study) • Development of packages based on ―best practices‖ of local model farmers • Shifting of responsibility for monitoring from supervisors to more highly trained Subject Matter Specialists • Increased role for kebele councils/cabinets
  • 22. Drinking Water
  • 23. Access to drinking water (Primary water source) National average: 11% (2004, WDI 2008) EEPRI-IFPRI Survey, 2009
  • 24. Average time to get water from different water sources (in minutes) Water source Wet season Dry Season River, lake, spring, pond 58 91 Rainwater 6 – Well without pump 74 102 Well with pump 71 82 Public standpipe 30 29 Household’s private standpipe/ tap 3 3 Water vendor 63 80 Other 24 153 EEPRI-IFPRI Survey, 2009
  • 25. Identification of drinking water as greatest problem BY Region Afar- Amhara- Amhara- Benesh. G- Gambella- Oromia- SNNP- Tigray- D D2 D3 D D D D D Drinking water 65% 29% 25% 35% 28% 36% 19% 34% BY Gender Men Women 31% 34% EEPRI-IFPRI Survey, 2009
  • 26. Satisfaction with quantity and quality of drinking water supply EEPRI-IFPRI Survey, 2009
  • 27. Capacity of Water Committees • Water committees receive limited technical training on operations and maintenance • No training on getting community ―buy-in‖ on value of clean water, hygiene, maintenance, fees, etc. • Many users object to fees • Strong perceptions of unfairness • Often little support from woreda water offices • Limited capital budgets, spare parts, and vehicles • All water committees included women, but usually chaired by men • In Beneshangul-Gumuz, policy is that women chair committees
  • 28. Conclusions and Policy Implications • Access to safe drinking water sources is very low • 32% of study households—which is substantially higher than nation-wide rural access of 11% (2004, WDI 2008) • Weak accountability links may be a hindrance in translating rural residents’ priority concerns into policy priorities Placing access to safe drinking water higher on the priority list (noting that it also has implications for productivity) • Households identify drinking water as their main priority concern • Yet they report relatively high satisfaction rates and hardly take any action to complain Treat satisfaction data with care
  • 29. Conclusions and Policy Implications • Water committees, the lowest level service providers, are still insufficiently inclusive Women usually fetch the water – shouldn’t they chair the committees? Should councils pay more attention to drinking water? • Water committees not able to counteract top-down facility provision Draw on local knowledge and local considerations in selecting sites – more discretion • Water committees have high discretion in setting rules, fees, etc., but unable to effectively use this discretion due to nearly no training on community relations Train water committees on community relations Page 29