Human development

We work with governments and private businesses to build human capital by improving education and health outcomes, ensuring a decent standard of living for all.

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Expertise Areas

Social sector financing and economics

Social sector finance is a powerful driver of improved human development outcomes. We recognise that public financing strategies are the most powerful drivers of system performance: maximising sustainable funding streams, reallocation of funding across programmes, and strategic purchasing are all powerful drivers of human development outcomes. Changing the modalities of the underlying contracts between health and education funders, and health and education service providers, public or private, has a significant potential to improve the performance of health and education systems, provided other components of the system are adapted as well.

Social sector service delivery

We work with governments and corporate private clients to improve service delivery systems and the return on investment in social sectors. We define “return on investment” as the highest health, education and welfare outcomes for the total amount of money spent by public and private sources. This means, for example, that we work to improve students’ learning in the classroom, whether in public or private schools; that expenditure on preventative and curative health services are balanced across all provider networks, and integrated with the health insurance function; that social insurance loss ratios are fair; and that cash transfers are designed to support beneficiaries to get into the labour market and build sustainable livelihoods.

Building resilient and adaptive service delivery systems

Service delivery systems in health, education and social protection are increasingly subject to shocks and stresses. Whether storms, drought, macroeconomic instability or civil strife, these shocks change the magnitude and nature of the demand for health, education and social protection services, often over a short period. Adaptive and resilient health, education and social protection systems are those that can respond to this change in demand in a way that the human capital of individuals - their stock of health, education and household finance - is persevered.

This is only possible if systems can identify changes in need, produce rapid response plans, finance them adequately, put in place additional services, and coordinate the response. Making systems more adaptive includes assessing and making changes to institutional capabilities, data collection and dissemination, governance frameworks (policy, legislative, regulatory, public finance management and so on), deployment of technologies and service integration.

Projects

Evaluating project to empower 2000 scholars through school

Project name:
Mid-term review of FAWE-Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme

Service:
Monitoring and evaluation

Sector:
Education
Africa’s youth

Area of Expertise:
Evaluation & impact assessment

Client:
The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)

Date:
2019 - 2020

Country:
Ethiopia
Rwanda


The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) is a pan-African non-governmental organisation working in 33 African countries to empower girls and women through gender-responsive education.

FAWE partnered with Mastercard Foundation in 2013 in a 10-year programme to support 2,000 scholars (primarily girls) in Rwanda and Ethiopia through secondary school, and to further support a group of the Rwandan scholars through university.

The principal goal of the FAWE-Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme is to provide access to quality education at secondary- and tertiary-school level (through scholarships and the provision of resources), as well as access to the necessary academic and mentorship support to enable selected scholars to excel in this environment and transition out of school into further education and employment.

In its seventh year of implementation, FAWE appointed Genesis to conduct a mid-term review of the programme. The purpose of this review was to:

  • Assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the programme’s implementation to date;
  • Evaluate the extent to which the planned outcomes of the programme have been achieved; and
  • Identify the successes and challenges experienced by the programme.

From the findings gathered through the mid-term review, Genesis compiled a set of recommendations for FAWE to consider to improve implementation for the remainder of the programme, highlighting components of the programme to amplify and other components to rethink.

Genesis also extracted key lessons learned that FAWE should consider for the replication and scaling of the programme in future.

Building Southern Africa's Resilience to Natural Resource Shocks

Project name:
Resilient Waters Programme

Service:
Monitoring and evaluation

Sector:
Agriculture and Agribusiness
Climate Change
Water and Sanitation

Area of Expertise:
Evaluation and impact assessment
Ongoing support as a learning partner

Client:
Chemonics

Date:
2018 - 2020

Country:
Angola
Botswana
Mozambique
Namibia
South Africa
Zambia
Zimbabwe


Genesis is the long-term monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) partner on the Resilient Waters Programme, a USAID's five-year programme in the Okavango and Limpopo river basins.

The programme aims to improve resilience and water security in the region by supporting key institutions, increasing access to safe, affordable drinking water, enhancing decision-making to respond to climate change, and improving management practices that mitigate threats to biodiversity. Resilient Waters focuses on seven countries – Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In implementing the Resilient Waters Programme, Genesis forms part of a consortium led by Chemonics. Genesis is joined in the consortium by JG Afrika, the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST) and the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF).

Over the past year, the MEL team has developed the programme’s theory of change and rolled out a 13-site baseline study. A key output of our work has been in how we define resilience in our footprint. Resilience is closely aligned to the level of social protection, the level of social cohesion, agency to make decisions and take action, and cultural heritage in communities.

The core focus areas for the team going into 2020 are:

  • Evaluating capacity-building within Resilient Waters, partner organisations and grant recipients;
  • Evaluating the programme’s fisheries, livelihoods, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and Gender, Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) activities;
  • Streamlining reporting processes;
  • Aligning programmatic work to our theory of change; and
  • Implementing our learning agenda, which includes dissemination and integration of knowledge products, collaboration with research and project evaluations, and evidence gap mapping.

The MEL team has established a community of practice on evaluating complex socio-ecological systems. For any information on this community of practice, please email resilientwaters@genesis-analytics.com.

Improving the accurate costing of HIV programmes in Africa

Project name:
Understanding HIV Costs and Sustainability (UCAS)

Service:
Health financing, costing and economics

Sector:
Health
Human development

Client:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Date:
2020 - ongoing

Country:
Kenya
South Africa
Tanzania
Uganda


Health costing tools are useful for policy makers and other stakeholders to understand and predict finances related to different health programmes. There are various activities currently underway to refine these costing tools.

The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is leading research efforts to better understand the comprehensive costs of delivering HIV-related services to inform planning and improve the efficiency of health service delivery.

PEPFAR implementers are using the activity-based costing for management (ABC-M) methodology to estimate the comprehensive HIV costs in four-to-seven African countries. At the same time, the Gates Foundation has approved a grant to Management Sciences for Health (MSH) to conduct costing of health services at primary healthcare (PHC) level, including HIV services in several African countries.

Genesis has been awarded a contract to undertake a number of learning activities that will improve countries’ abilities to accurately cost their HIV programmes, using national data systems, and interpret existing cost data, thereby enabling more effective planning, budgeting and ongoing decision-making. Learning activities in this project will examine four areas of research:

  • Describing the landscape of health costing and resource tracking efforts at a global and country specific levels and developing a framework for understanding the key costing and expenditure tracking tools in HIV, TB and PHC.
  • Developing a deep understanding of the differences between ABC-M and the MSH costing approach and methodologies, and the implications on costs and uses.
  • Reviewing how available cost data is being used by decision makers to shape policy and inform programme management decisions.
  • Identifying the opportunities and feasibility for institutionalisation of ABC-M in selected geographies to routinely collect and analyse cost data from national data systems.

Ultimately the findings from this work will assist stakeholders, partners and in-country stakeholders to understand which costing methods and tools are best suited to inform planning and decision-making for HIV-related services. And how these tools can be tailored to local data and systems that allows for the routine generation of accurate and comprehensive costing data for HIV programmes.

Innovative funding for project to address teenage pregnancy

Project name:
Social impact bond to address HIV and pregnancy in school-going adolescent girls and young women in South Africa

Service:
Health financing, costing and economics

Sector:
Health
Africa’s youth

Client:
SA Medical Research Council (GA contracted with Wits Health Consortium)

Date:
2019 - ongoing

Country:
South Africa


Social impact bonds (SIBs) are an innovative financing method in which a social investor provides working capital for a project and is only repaid by government or a donor (the outcomes funder) if successful outcomes are achieved. The mechanism has several advantages in that it raises capital from new sources, aligns the incentives for success of all stakeholders, provides space for flexibility and innovation, and is supported by rigorous monitoring and evaluation.

Adolescent girls and young women face a myriad of social, economic and health challenges in South Africa, including high rates of teenage pregnancy and school drop-outs, disproportionately high rates of HIV acquisition, and partner violence. The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has researched and developed an optimal package of services targeting adolescent girls and young women and has secured outcomes funding for an SIB from the South African National Treasury through the Department of Science and Technology.

Genesis Analytics has been appointed by SAMRC, together with a consortium of partners that include Wits Health Consortium, the Bertha Centre for Innovation and UK-based SIB specialists, Social Finance, to provide technical support to the SIB process, from the design of the SIB to investor mobilisation and co-creation of the project and its target results.

The role of Genesis is focused on developing a cost and budget model for the SIB intervention and to guide value-for-money considerations in the conceptualisation and co-design of the intervention for young women in schools. Genesis is also required to contribute cost and budget information to the investor mobilisation process and to support project partners in developing a financial model that determines the repayment triggers and repayment amounts to the social investor that are tied to outcomes achieved.

The project expects to achieve the following outcomes:

1. Reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women in schools through the provision of ARV prophylaxis drugs and behavioural interventions

2. Reduce unintended pregnancies through contraception services and related pregnancy interventions and improve pregnancy care for learners who do become pregnant.

3. Increase the rate of viral suppression in schoolgirls who are HIV positive through optimisation of testing, treatment and adherence support.

Behavioural Economics team lifts school attendance by 14%

Project name:
Using behavioural economics to optimise FLY’s Johannesburg programme

Service:
Applied behavioural economics

Sector:
Education
Human development

Area of Expertise:
Choice architecture build

Client:
Fun Learning for Youth

Date:
2019 - 2020

Country:
South Africa


As part of the Genesis in Society initiative, the Applied Behavioural Economics (ABE) team partnered with the Fun Learning for Youth (FLY) programme in Alexandra to help them improve attendance and attainment rates.

The FLY programme

FLY is a programme that aims to move high school learners (from grade 8 to grade 12) out of poverty through improving their mathematics and life skills by providing extracurricular lessons and mentorship. The programme provides an environment for high school students that is conducive to learning and provides learners with a safe space in which they are able to think and grasp complex concepts.

Our intervention

However, FLY was experiencing low and inconsistent attendance and poor performance by students. With this in mind, the ABE team applied insights from behavioural economics to increase student attendance and - ultimately - educational attainment.

We implemented two interventions:

  • A values affirmation exercise provided to students during the first week of lessons, and
  • Behaviourally informed SMSes to parents (before a session, after a session and a mid-week reminder)

Our results

We tested our interventions through an A/B test that was run over a five-week period. Seventy-three students were allocated to the test group, and 74 students to the control group. The test group completed the values affirmation exercise and their parents received three behaviourally informed SMS messages each week. The control group completed a written exercise that was not behaviourally informed and their parents did not receive any behaviourally informed SMSes.

The interventions resulted in a 14% increase in student attendance across all grades over the five-week period. The student attainment results were inconclusive as a result of data constraints.

Given the success of the interventions, the ABE team recommended that the interventions be rolled out to the entire programme. These low-cost, easy-to-implement interventions can also be applied across different contexts and the ABE team continues to look for different ways to apply them to unlock value.

Review of M&E frameworks for Helmsley Trust

Project name:
Quality assurance of M&E frameworks and project-level process evaluations for Helmsley Charitable Trust's Vulnerable Children projects

Service:
Monitoring and evaluation

Sector:
Public and Social
Water and Sanitation

Area of Expertise:
Evaluation & impact assessment

Client:
The Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust

Date:
2014 - ongoing

Country:
Ethiopia
Ghana
Kenya


The Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust’s (Helmsley Trust’s) Vulnerable Children in sub-Saharan Africa Programme funds interventions that provide at-risk children with greater access to education, improved nutrition, and clean water and sanitation. As of August 2016, the USD 41-million programme had 18 implementing partners with interventions across sub-Saharan Africa. 

Given the magnitude and geographical reach of the programme, Helmsley Trust contracted Genesis to provide on-going monitoring and evaluation (M&E) support to five of the projects funded by the trust. The projects include Nuru Kenya, CRS Ghana, Water.org Kenya, Water.org Ghana and World Vision Ethiopia.

The first exercise was providing quality assurance of the projects’ M&E systems. Genesis undertook a comprehensive desktop review of the projects’ M&E systems and visited the project sites to understand their implementation in practice. 

On the basis of this, Genesis provided the projects with recommendations on how to improve their M&E systems so that they delivered consolidated and evidence-based reporting to inform decision-making and project implementation. Drawing on the findings from this process, Genesis provided Helmsley with an M&E guide to assist its grantees with developing their M&E systems.

Genesis has subsequently conducted implementation evaluations for Nuru Kenya and CRS Ghana and has planned similar evaluations for Water.org Kenya and Water.org Ghana. These evaluations reviewed the implementation of the projects and provided recommendations on how they could be more effectively implemented to achieve their objectives.

The final components of the assignment will be a summative evaluation of Water.org Kenya and Water.org Ghana, the provision of qualitative research support to Nuru Kenya and CRS Ghana and a strategic overview of the programme’s performance as a whole. For the most part, the recommendations on the M&E systems were well received and were implemented by the project teams. 

The implementation evaluations were well received by the project teams and the management responses confirmed the findings and recommendations. These will be used to inform the remainder of the projects’ implementation.

Download Ghana executive summary

Download Kenya executive summary


TOP: A Genesis evaluator explains 'pocket voting' to project staff and community leaders in Kpatia, in northern Ghana.  ABOVE: KWAHO's water distribution kiosk in Amimo village in Kenya.

TOP: A Genesis evaluator explains 'pocket voting' to project staff and community leaders in Kpatia, in northern Ghana. ABOVE: KWAHO's water distribution kiosk in Amimo village in Kenya.

Estimating cost of expanding community-based malaria control

Project name:
Estimating the cost of expanding community-based case management for malaria control

Service:
Health financing, costing and economics

Sector:
Health

Client:
Elimination 8

Date:
2018 - 2019

Country:
Angola


Genesis calculated the incremental cost of implementing and scaling-up community-based interventions in southern Angola to reduce the spread of malaria to neighbouring countries.

This donor-supported initiative aims to reduce the transmission of malaria across borders. It plans to do so through intensive community-based case management and the wide distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets.

Elimination Eight, representing eight neighbouring countries, coordinates interventions that are being implemented by PSI and World Vision in Angola.

As part of a bigger study, Genesis was responsible for estimating the incremental cost of expanding case-management activities to other districts. This costing exercise required the re-coding and analysis of the implementing agent’s general ledger to facilitate an allocation of incremental expenditure to both cost categories and pre-defined activities. In-kind contributions were also analysed.

Stakeholders and implementers were interviewed with a customised interview tool translated into the local language. The analysis provided valuable insights into the key cost drivers and identified the significant loss of time recorded by community activists travelling between villages and the potential for significantly increased supervision costs in deep rural settings.

These findings will inform the planning for the expansion of interventions to other districts.

Sexual and reproductive services will improve health of SA's youth

Project name:
The Understandibility, Accessibility and Acceptability of the Provisions of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Schools in South Africa

Sector:
Health
Education
Public and Social
Africa’s youth

Area of Expertise:
Behavioural sciences

Client:
Department of Basic Education (funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA))

Date:
2018 - 2019

Country:
South Africa


Access to sexual and reproductive (SRH) services, including contraceptives, HIV testing and counselling, pregnancy testing and family planning are desirable in schools as youth have limited information and access to these services and products.

Genesis Analytics supported the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to investigate the understanding, accessibility and acceptability of providing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to boys and girls attending school in South Africa.

Our team undertook discussions with school leaners to understand what their SRH needs were and how best to deliver these services and products that would encourage their appropriate use among learners.

We also conducted interviews with teachers and discussions with parents to understand what was acceptable and feasible in terms of making these services and products available at schools.

The research findings were presented at multiple platforms to the DBE, donor groups such as the Gates Foundation and UNFPA, as well as to life orientation officials.

We used the results to workshop models of service delivery with NGOs, donor groups, broader government departments and academic institutions. The models consider the realities of learners in both rural and urban areas, and the roles that both government and NGOs play in making vital SRH services and products available to the South African youth.

A rapid decline in fertility, investment in family planning, improved child survival and educating girls allows young people to contribute meaningfully to South Africa’s economy. By improving the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of our youth, South Africa can take full advantage of its demographic dividend.

Meet the Team

Areas of Service Expertise

  • Building resilient and adaptive service delivery systems

Related Sectors

Projects

Project

Evaluating project to empower 2000 scholars through school

The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) appointed Genesis to conduct a mid-term review of their 10-year programme to support 2,000 scholars (primarily girls) in Rwanda and Ethiopia through secondary school, and to further support a group of the Rwandan scholars through university.

View Project
Project

Building Southern Africa's Resilience to Natural Resource Shocks

Genesis is the long-term monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) partner on the Resilient Waters Programme, a USAID's five-year programme in the Okavango and Limpopo river basins.

View Project

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Leading the team

Tomas Lievens

Partner (Human Development)

Tomas Lievens
Partner (Human Development)
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Tafara Ngwaru

Manager

Tafara Ngwaru
Manager
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Kathryn Schneider

Manager

Kathryn Schneider
Manager
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