3035.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 1:15 PM

Abstract #6820

Increasing the effectiveness of external technical assistance

Malcolm Bryant, Strengthening Health Services Program, Management Sciences for Health, 165 Allandale Road, Boston, MA 02130, 617-524-7799, mbryant@msh.org

Technical assistance to developing countries is frequently delivered through projects of 3-5 year duration. These projects use a variety of contractual mechanisms to ensure that donor monies are used wisely, that host-country governments are served well, and that contractor performance is acceptable. With a shift to a more results oriented process, increasing rigor has been applied to assure the timely achievement of results, and contractor performance is linked to these results. This focus on results has achieved improvements in the administration of projects, and anecdotal evidence would suggest that significant efficiencies have been achieved. However, tensions inevitably arise between the demand for rapid results, and the need for a project to establish sustainable capacity amongst host-country counterparts. These tensions can result in conflict between donor and contractor, and adversely affect performance and efficiency. This tension could be significantly reduced if the Project cycle were better understood, and intermediate results tied to this cycle rather than to a linear projection towards expected goals and objectives.

This paper analyzes the implementation of seven USAID funded bilateral projects to describe the Project cycle and provide guidance to those responsible for the design, implementation and evaluation of field projects. The four phases of a project are described, identifying the time-lag between establishment of the project and the likelihood of being able to describe meaningful results. It also looks at the place in the project cycel of such initiatives as the sharing of lessons learned and best practices.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this presentation potential donors and contractors will be able to describe the four phases of the project cycle and understand the link between the project cycle and the achievement of specific results

Keywords: International Health, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA