Country: Georgia (ECA)
Project: Improved Social Accountability for Bettering Preschool Quality in Georgia
Organization: Save the Children Representative Office in Georgia
Sector: Education

This PPP is open for public comments until July 29, 2016. 

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Data Sheet

 

I. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES

A. PDO

Project Development Objective (PDO) is to improve pre-school education monitoring systems in Georgian municipalities through collaborative, social accountability-oriented benchmarking activities. Our strategic approach is to create a systematic, ground-level evaluation mechanisms for the preschool system in which the participation of a wide range of stakeholders, especially of service recipients,  generates voice and accumulates valuable information to influence changes in the decision-making process with a particular focus on quality service delivery as well as better resource allocation. This will be achieved through two major areas of action: 

  1. Designing and establishing a viable preschool education monitoring and feedback (benchmarking) system based on solid social accountability mechanism in 27 Georgian municipalities, and 
  2. Setting up a professional National Preschool Association (NPA) which will include municipality-level task-force groups consisting of different stakeholders, most importantly parents and representatives of preschool institutions, as a driving force for  change in the field.

Key to the sustainability of this action is: (a) ensuring deep buy-in of benchmarking benefits and creating ownership of the methodology at the local level; (b) ensuring the benchmarking results deeply inform state policies, with a commitment for replication and scale-up; (c) developing a strong constituency-based national association of pre-schools to roll out the learning, experiences and processes outside of the project’s targeted municipalities; and (d) ensuring established monitoring of the above by the central government

B. Project Beneficiaries

This project will directly reach up to 50,000 beneficiaries during its lifetime. Direct beneficiaries include: preschool age children and their parents, teachers and care-givers in 27 of Georgia’s 71 municipalities (38%). The Project’s indirect beneficiaries include: all Georgian municipalities and pre-schools, which will be introduced to the social accountability tools, approaches and lessons of this project via the outreach of the National Preschool Association.Furthermore, Ministries of Education and Health (MoES and MoLHSA) can use the results generated from the implementation of the benchmarking methodology. Firstly, the analytical reports will contribute to the policy planning process of those ministries, as they are still responsible for teaching methodology and sanitation, hygiene and nutrition standards, respectively. Secondly, improved cooperation and info-sharing between the municipalities and the ministries will enhance development, revision and implementation of the national standards related to preschool education.

Initially 7 pilot municipalities will be included in the project: Lanchkhuti, Ozurgeti, Gori, Khashuri, Marneuli, Akhaltsikhe, and Rustavi. The selection of municipalities is based on several considerations: inclusion of small as well as large municipalities (e.g. Lanchkhuti with population 30,000 and Rustavi with 150,000), municipalities which are predominantly urban or rural, with large ethnic minority populations, and where the applicant organizations have already established strong professional ties and have gained substantial trust among local stakeholders. At the next stage 20 additional municipalities will get engaged on demand-driven selection. In total 27 municipalities out of 71 (over 30%) will be formally engaged and benefiting from the project. As all municipalities admit their need of improving social accountability, as well general preschool management practices, it is expected that the demand to participate in the project will be very high. Therefore, after piloting in initial 7, all municipalities will have a chance to participate in the open application process, which will reveal municipalities with highest motivation and potential to successfully carry out the benchmarking. The committee consisting from project partners, donor, MoES, MoLSHA and UNICEF representatives will review applications and select municipalities. Particular attention will be paid to the commitment (regulatory as well as budgetary) of municipalities to maintain the benchmarking procedure beyond the lifetime of the project. To make sure all municipalities are aware about the project and have equal chance to participate, the information will be distributed through National Association of Municipalities – uniting all Georgian local self-government units.

 

II. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

A. Project Components

Component 1: Developing a comprehensive monitoring system for quality preschool service delivery and improved social accountability.

The objective of this component is create, through a collaborative stakeholder process, the benchmarking and monitoring system that will be used to assess pre-school services in Georgia. This includes:

  1. With the technical support of international and national experts, and in close consultation with central and local government, development of collaborative monitoring and feedback (benchmarking) methodology.
  2. Develop guidelines to evaluate municipal preschool service provision through participatory process.
  3. Piloting of the proposed monitoring and benchmarking methodology in 7 selected municipalities (Year One) and documentation of pilot results including challenges and success of implementation and political influences for further contextual adaptations.
  4. Analyze information to inform the pilot and manage risks 

Component 2: Establishing a national mechanism for (a) capacity development of preschool service providers and (b) improving social accountability practices for bettering service delivery.

The objective of this component is to establish a national network of stakeholders committed and empowered to roll out similar processes to all pre-schools in Georgia. This will be accomplished via:

  1. Establishing National Preschool Association (NPA) of Georgia in support of preschool service development with clear roles and responsibilities; NPA will include task-force groups consisting of 5 to 10 members: parents,  representatives of preschool institutions, civil society reps/ local NGO.
  2. Building the capacities of the NPA members via a Training of Trainers effort to roll out the benchmarking methodology to assess and improve (a) quality care and development, resource allocation and accessibility issues;  and (b) social accountability i.e. parents and community members feedback mechanism.
  3. Support NPA in all project locations to hold negotiations with local government and preschool service providers and sign the memorandum of understanding for collaboration in joint benchmarking utilization.
  4. As per the pilot results (described in component 1), validated and revised benchmarking methodology is utilized by NPA in additional 20 municipalities (10 in Year Two and 10 in Year Three).
  5. The establishment of a platform for exchange of experiences and good practices among municipalities and the NPA through regular meetings, the dissemination of information and the strengthening of partnerships between the National Policy-makers and the NPA.
  6. Constructive engagement for national level changes.
  7. Communicating benchmarking results to national and local government bodies countrywide.
  8. Raise public awareness and debate about the social accountability mechanisms for improved pre-school education in Georgia, with examples and lessons from the benchmarking highlighted.

Component 3: Knowledge and Learning for improved strategies and results.

The objective of this component is to raise broad awareness about the SAcc tools, methods, results and learning from the above-described experiences so that they can be scaled and further improved over time in Georgia, and potentially beyond. To do so, the project will:

  1. Knowledge for Improved Social Accountability Strategies across Georgian municipalities and at the national level.
  2. Learning for Improved Project Results.

B. Project Financing
The financing instrument elected for this project is a Recipient Executed Trust Fund (RETF) Grant. The source of financing for this Grant is the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), housed within the World Bank. As per World Bank Trust Fund guidelines, given that this Trust Fund is smaller than US$5 million this Project is subject to World Bank procedures related to project preparation and supervision of Small RETF Grants. The Project cost is estimated to be US$680,000 to be financed completely by the GPSA grant. Additionally, the World Bank will commit an annual Project supervision budget in the amount of US$20,000.

Project Costs

Total Project Cost (US$)

GPSA Grant Financing (US$)

CSO Financing (US$)

WB Financing* (US$)

GPSA Financing (%)

Component 1

$283,884

$283,884

0

0

100

Component 2

$285,589

$285,589

0

0

100

Component 3

$110,526

$110,526

0

0

100

Total Base Cost

$680,000

$680,000

0

0

100

Other costs

$60,000

0

0

$60,000

0

Total Project Cost

$740,000

$680,000

0

$60,000

92%

* Annual World Bank Project supervision budget of US$20,000.

 

III. IMPLEMENTATION

A. Implementation Arrangements
Project Implementing Agency: The project will be led by Save the Children—Georgia (SC). SC is responsible for overall management, operational and fiduciary responsibilities. It will ensure overall quality control concerning: the development of the benchmarking tools and processes, the constructive engagement with all stakeholders (national and local government, UNICEF, service providers/recipients), and the Knowledge & Learning activities.

SC will partner with Civitas Georgia to implement this initiative. Civitas will build from its prior and ongoing experiences working with UNICEF to improve practices across Georgia at the pre-school level. It will be in charge of establishing the National Pre-School Association, building its capacities and ensuring robust peer to peer education.

Civita Georgia is a non-governmental organization established in Georgia in 1996 to assist the transformation processes in Caucasus region. The organization has rich experience in promoting/assisting democratic reforms and advancing competent public participation in local decision-making. The history of continued productive cooperation with a majority of municipalities in Georgia is one of the key assets of the organizations and key strength for the implementation of this project.

Flow of Funds: Save the Children – Georgia will directly draw down on the Designated Account in order to ensure smooth flow of funds for implementation of Project activities. An Indicative Schedule of Advanced Payments and Final Reimbursement will be included in the Disbursement Letter. Requests for withdrawal of Grant funds will be made in accordance with a schedule (milestones) agreed between Save the Children–Georgia and the World Bank.

B. Results Monitoring and Evaluation
SC and the World Bank will monitor the PDO level indicators, as well as implementation of activities supported by each Project component. SC will use a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) approach to: 1) track progress against key indicators; 2) ensure quality implementation of the project; 3) capture beneficiaries and stakeholders’ feedback, and 4) share findings with relevant partners. The MEAL Plan developed by SC and its partner will be guided by the following principles: 1) use of relevant indicators to measure project output and outcomes; 2) use of qualitative and quantitative indicators 3) participatory monitoring and evaluation; 4) interpretation of data for impact assessment, timely decision-making and needed revisions/adjustments.

The focus of the monitoring will be to discern whether the benchmarking exercise is used effectively, sustained over time, leads to tangible improvements as defined by local stakeholders, and is transferred and adopted by non-participating municipalities via the NPA or other means.

C. Sustainability
The project’s approach to sustainability is the following:

  • Ensure deep buy-in of all stakeholders so that the benchmarking and action-plan processes are owned locally;
  • Work collaboratively at local level with all stakeholder to foment change that is appreciated, and that people   want to replicate and sustain
  • Ensure the development of a constituency-based national association of pre-schools to roll out the learning, experiences and processes developed in the initial 27 municipalities to all 71 municipalities.
  • Monitor the above over time.