This report presents the findings of the 2017 Beneficiary Feedback process conducted by the Independent Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) component of RAP3. This process set out to capture feedback from the direct and indirect beneficiaries of RAP. The majority of the feedback comes from the direct beneficiaries of RAP – the members of the Road Building Groups (RBGs) and Road Maintenance Groups (RMGs) who receive cash for working and participating in the roads work implemented by the project. This feedback comes from a mixture of surveys and shorter case studies. Feedback also comes from the indirect beneficiaries of RAP – these are the users of the roads in the maintenance districts (as roads are not yet complete in the build districts).
The findings from the direct beneficiaries (RBGs and RMGs) suggest largely positive outcomes. There is a high level of trust and appreciation for the programme. Of the many positives, it is the regularity of cash income that is most noticeable in terms of the positive feedback. Nearly 90% of female beneficiaries are getting paid for work for the first time ever, which provides them with the opportunity to spend money where they would like (i.e. improvements in women’s economic empowerment).
However, to some extent, it appears that the involvement by women in paid work on RAP means that their working day has become far longer because their unpaid household care work has not reduced to offset their time spent working on RAP. Additionally, there is a mixed picture regarding savings as some beneficiaries state that they receive enough cash from RAP to save, whilst others do not feel it is sufficient. Nearly all beneficiaries understand the usefulness and utility of the equipment they are provided with to carry out their work on RAP. RAP work is generally safe in that there are very few reported injuries, and when injuries do arise, they are normally relatively minor. However, people still understand that there is a high risk of injury associated with the work. RAP has well-established protocols and the Safety Knot component of RAP is well placed to look into the risk of injuries side of work which it is currently doing.
The indirect beneficiaries (users of the roads) recognise the importance of road works and the in-depth feedback provides a strong indication that there is marked improvement in the use and usability of the roads that are maintained by RMGs. This bodes well for the longer-term outcomes and impact of RAP, which is to stimulate economic activity along the road corridors. However, there is as yet insufficient evidence to fully test this hypothesis as the effects of improved access will likely be much longer term.