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.

Read More
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

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.

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.

Raising the drinking age to 21: Pros and cons

Project name:
Evaluating the economic, health and social impacts of the proposed Liquor Amendment Bill, 2017

Service:
Economic impact assessment
Shared value and corporate impact
Regulatory economics and accounting

Sector:
Health
Manufacturing
Public and Social

Area of Expertise:
Socio-economic and regulatory impact assessment
Corporate impact
Financial modelling
Impact of regulatory decisions

Client:
National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC)

Date:
2017

Country:
South Africa


Most South Africans do not drink alcohol yet the consumption per capita is extremely high by international standards. In other words, those who do drink, drink to excess. Binge drinking is typical and levels of youth drinking are also high.

Based on this, government (led by the Department of Trade and Industry and supported by the Department of Health) proposed amendments to the national Liquor Act, 2003, including:

  • Raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 21;
  • Banning alcohol advertising;
  • Introducing vicarious liability for manufacturers, distributors and retailers of alcohol.

Genesis was asked by the National Economic and Development Labour Council (NEDLAC) to conduct an independent study on the likely economic, health and social impacts of proposals.

The team produced the most comprehensive review to date of the alcohol industry and of alcoholic consumption patterns. It found that South Africa faced four main challenges.

First, while most South Africans do not drink those who do, drink to excess - thus heavy binge drinking is a big challenge.

Second, there is a worryingly early uptake of alcohol by children and high levels of binge drinking by teens and young people. This is particularly dangerous for the cognitive development of the brain, which is only complete at 24.

Third, much hazardous drinking occurs in the large unlicensed sector.

Finally, we found evidence that existing liquor laws are poorly enforced.

Using seven approaches to estimate impact, we found that the proposals would reduce consumption of between 3.2% and 7.4%. This was also in line with the views of the major alcohol companies.

The proposals will help to bring down levels of hazardous drinking over time, slow the uptake of drinking by young people and create public health savings of up to R1.9 billion a year. We also estimated that about 185 lives a year would be saved from alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

We further estimated that the alcohol industry would create fewer jobs (between 645 and 1 500 fewer jobs in the next 10 years). The advertising industry would lose about R400 million (about 1% of its current revenue), and the media would lose about R800 million in revenue. Hardest hit would be SABC, e.tv and Multichoice.

Moreover, advertising spending by the bigger liquor companies will move from above-the-line to below-the-line marketing like store promotions, events, and competitions. This would crowd out smaller firms that tend to use below-the-line marketing, which would negatively affect competition in the alcohol industry.

Genesis’s technical inputs across three practices produced a rigorous, independent and objective study that provided the social partners and the government with facts and evidence to further debate the merits of the amendments.

Genesis’s report provides a full and balanced view of the pros and cons, in line with our company purpose to help leaders make better decisions, fairly and fully informed.

Why Nedlac wants a new study to quantify cost of liquor

Government wants to ban liquor ads

Full report

Positive impact of Soul Buddyz Clubs on young women

Project name:
Evaluation of the Soul Buddyz Clubs

Service:
Monitoring and evaluation
Behavioural Science

Sector:
Public and Social
Health

Area of Expertise:
Research, evaluation and design

Client:
Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication

Date:
2015 - 2017

Country:
South Africa


The Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication (SCIHDC) has been running Soul Buddyz Clubs (SBC) in primary schools in South Africa since 2003. SCIHDC wanted to determine the long-term impact of participation in SBC on previous members’ overall health, community participation and level of education attainment. 

The clubs, whose members are between 8 - 14 years, focused on promoting positive attitudes and behaviours that related to HIV, such as self-efficacy for safer sexual behaviour, condom use, community activity, gender based violence and alcohol or drug use.

The sample comprised people who were SBC members between 2004 and 2008. We designed a retrospective cohort study design in order to determine the impact of being an SBC member. Cases comprised individuals aged 18-24 years who attended SBC's approximately 6-10 years ago (2004-2008). Controls were individuals aged 18-24 years who never attended SBC but grew up and attended in schools in the same communities. Our fieldwork partner, Social Surveys Africa, were able to interview 800 respondents (300 cases and 500 controls) between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

The challenges included having to find and recruit members retrospectively without a sample frame, establishing an appropriate control group, getting participants to come to a central venue for interviews and asking participants to get an HIV test.

Winner in Joburg receiving his camera from Mpho Molebatsi from SSA

Winner in Joburg receiving his camera from Mpho Molebatsi from SSA

Our approach was to first conduct a feasibility study to determine the likelihood of being able to locate previous SBC members and to determine the preferred control group. We used these findings to develop an innovative retrospective cohort study design to meet the study objectives. 

We then used a multi-pronged recruitment approach to recruit the ex-SBC members. Methods included radio adverts, a Facebook group, WhatsApp and telephone calls to those identified through snowballing. 

We incentivised referrals of previous SBCs to improve snowballing. We established where the majority of the ex-SBC members attended primary school and together with SSA we identified appropriate community controls using random sampling. SAA staff were at the fieldwork sites and ensured participants were given transport money and thank-you gifts. We ran competitions at the fieldwork sites to improve the response rate.

We were able to combine epidemiological expertise, in-depth sector knowledge and real world experience to solve a difficult evaluation problem for our client using an innovative study design. We found that ex-buddyz were more likely to have completed Grade 12, be involved in community activities and to have used condom at first sex. They were less likely to have sex before 15 years, to have had more than one partner in the past 12 months and have had multiple sexual partners in the past month. 

Female ex-Buddyz were less likely to be HIV positive than controls. There was no effect on male ex-Buddyz, possibly because the sample size of HIV positive men in this age group was too small.

The results of the study will be used to determine whether school-based programmes have any lasting impact on HIV – an area where there is not much evidence. In addition, SCIHDC now has a list of previous members as well as an activate platform (Facebook group) through which it can communicate with them. 

Top picture: Sarah Magni, the manager of the Health practice, addresses a briefing on the study that was presented at the 8th SA AIDS Conference in Durban in June 2017

Positive impact of health club on young women's HIV status

Article in the Journal of Health Communication

Genesis studies why 30% of SA births go unregistered

Project name:
Implementation evaluation of the birth registration programme

Service:
Monitoring and evaluation

Sector:
Public and Social
Health

Area of Expertise:
Evaluation & impact assessment

Client:
Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Department of Home Affairs (South Africa)

Date:
2016 - 2018

Country:
South Africa


The purpose of the evaluation was to understand why births are not registered within the first 30 days after birth and systematically uncover the constraints that hinder the registration of births within this legislated period.

The evaluation came up with three main recommendations to improve birth registration system. These were:

1. Promotion of the ERB programme’s strategic vision: Efforts to promote the strategic vision to register births as close to when they occur as possible should be reinforced and deepened. Genesis recommended that this be enhanced by facilitating strong partnerships between the involved stakeholders, particularly the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and the Department of Health (DOH).

2. Strengthening the implementation of the strategic vision: This evaluation finds that the current MOU does not enable the achievement of the strategic vision. Therefore, the current MOU must be refined to better articulate the specific roles and responsibilities of DHA and DOH to ensure that the connected hospital footprint is strengthened and maintained.

This recommendation also focused on strengthening relationship with other  partners such as the Department of Social Development (DSD) to advance the registration of births of orphan and vulnerable children and children located in remote and marginalised communities. Finally, the recommendation was also directed at encouraging the establishment of an MOU between the DHA, DOH and the Department of Public Works (DPW) to elaborate on the roles and responsibilities contained within specific facility rental agreements to ensure that DHA office and HCF infrastructure is accessible and provides requisite comforts for mothers, babies and young children.

3. Improving the implementation and operability of the birth registration system: Genesis recommended that DHA should prioritise consolidating and maintaining the connected hospital footprint before continuing its expansion. In addition, DHA should improve the methodology by which targets are set to improve performance management and evidence-informed decision-making.

The South African birth registration system is complex. For this reason, Genesis used systems thinking for this evaluation to ensure that the evaluation considers the complex context within which the birth registration programme operates and how this environment affects the implementation of the DHA’s birth registration interventions.

With input from DHA officials, the programme theory of change was designed and used to better understand the DHA’s birth registration programme and its implementation. The analysis framework was guided by the OECD DAC evaluation criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability to assist in the development and categorisation of the key evaluation questions.

The evaluation data collection methods included key informant interviews with a range of government stakeholders across national and provincial levels. Before the data collection process, the team underwent data collection training where they were capacitated with necessary skills to conduct interviews with public service users and officials.

Data was also collected from site observations at DHA offices and at healthcare facilities. This was guided by structured observation forms. A rubric was used to assess the quality of sites across multiple dimensions. During site observations, public service users (parents) were interviewed. The purpose of parents’ interviews was to gain an understanding of their experiences and perspectives relating to the national birth registration process.

Meet the Team

Areas of Service Expertise

  • Building resilient and adaptive service delivery systems

Related Sectors

Projects

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
Project

Innovative funding for project to address teenage pregnancy

Genesis Analytics has been appointed with a consortium of partners to provide technical support for a social impact bond to address HIV and pregnancy in school-going adolescent girls in South Africa.

View Project

Search

Search for more Genesis projects

Leading the team

Tomas Lievens

Partner (Human Development)

Tomas Lievens
Partner (Human Development)
Read More

Tafara Ngwaru

Manager

Tafara Ngwaru
Manager
Read More

Kathryn Schneider

Manager

Kathryn Schneider
Manager
Read More