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EDC (Pvt) Limited

Enterprise & Development Consulting

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About Us
   

Monitoring and Evaluation

 

EDC is probably the most highly specialized provider of M&E services in the country.  Based on international principles and practices, and in response to the expectations of taxpayers and parliaments, EDC consistently promotes M&E systems that focus sharply on impact and outcome.  Its ability to lead M&E assignments in a variety of sectors can be illustrated with reference to the following snapshots from its experience:

  • In recent years, EDC has undertaken about 30 diverse evaluations and assessments in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, China and three countries of Eastern Africa, namely, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia, spanning community-level assessments, institutional analyses, project and country programme evaluations, country reports on Pakistanís global commitments, and studies on improving monitoring and evaluation approaches and systems.  Clients included donor agencies and CSOs.

  • EDC is actively engaged in developing M&E systems and providing full-time and short-term expertise for ongoing USAID projects (the FATA Capacity Building Programme; the FATA Livelihood Development Programme, North; and the Smallhoder Dairy Development Project for Punjab and Sindh).  It has also been engaged for M&E system development and training by a number of NGOs, UNDP and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the latter for support to its civil society partners.

Agriculture and Rural Development

 

Based on the cutting-edge experience of its senior managers, EDC started its practice with a strong background in participatory approaches to rural development.  During the 1990s, EDC contributed to the design and implementation of several multi-sectoral rural development projects as well as on-farm water management and forestry initiatives.  At the same time, EDC developed high-quality research capability in agriculture and irrigation, working with clients such as USAID and international centres including CIMMYT and IWMI.  It subsequently acquired a niche (including diverse international experience) in the evaluation of rural development and agriculture programmes by working mainly with multilateral organizations (such as IFAD and UNDP).  EDC benefits from continuing association with some of the leading contributors to international discourse on agriculture and rural development.

  • During the 1990s, EDC teams participated in the design of two large ADB-assisted rural development projects in NWFP (the Barani and Malakand projects) and the implementation of two projects (both of them for barani areas) in Punjab and NWFP.  In 2007, under contract to IFAD, EDC conducted a comprehensive impact assessment of the two barani projects and developed practical recommendations for improving design and implementation.  During 2001-2007, EDC participated in a number of evaluations of IFADís rural development and agriculture projects, strategies and partners (including specialized international agencies) in Asia and East Africa.

  • Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, an EDC team worked closely with CIMMYT Mexico to analyze the impact of 30 years of technological change (1960s t0 1990s) on production, consumption and government policy, and on the land, labour and water markets in Pakistan, with a focus on food crops.  In an assignment for IWMI Pakistan, EDC provided economics perspectives for research on crop-water interactions, measures of irrigation performance, conjunctive use, and equity and variability in distributary flows.  EDC consultants were also engaged under a USAID agricultural policy analysis project.

  • In 2003, a team of staff and consultants from EDC and the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), led by EDC under a DFID contract, completed a study on operational insights from 20 years of AKRSP.  The team developed insights in social mobilization, agriculture and natural resource management, enterprise development and community infrastructure development that were included in a book published in the UK.

  • During 2007, working closely with UNDP, the Co-chairs (ILO and FAO) and 14 other agencies, EDCís Managing Director carried out the situation analysis, performance assessment, SWOT analysis, and formulation of issues for adoption in the joint programmes of the UNís Working Group on Agriculture, Rural Development and Poverty for the One UN approach in Pakistan.

Decentralization and Local Governance

 

Thoughtful and gradual decentralization, all the way down to the community level, is often considered to be an essential element of good governance and service delivery.  We recognize that decentralization is initially disruptive and could also lead to elite capture of resources in stratified societies.  Even in the long term, decentralization, on its own, may not lead to better service delivery or poverty alleviation.  EDCís preferred approach includes decentralization in public finance and human resources management, timely and consistent support for capacity development (of elected as well as administrative institutions, and especially for developing a pro-poor orientation), and linkages with autonomous organized communities that articulate the voice of the poor.

  • An EDC team conceptualized and conducted a thematic evaluation of ďIFADís Performance and Impact in Decentralizing Environments: Experiences from Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.Ē  It recommended area-based strategies for local governance and poverty alleviation as the first step in supporting decentralization initiatives through donor-assisted projects. The recommendations were noted with appreciation by the Evaluation Committee of the Executive Board of IFAD.

  • The devolution process introduced in Pakistan in 2001 has been under review since 2008 by the newly-elected Federal and Provincial Governments.  The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development was tasked by the Prime Minister to coordinate the reform process.  We assisted the Secretary of the Ministry in conceptualizing and structuring an international workshop on Successful Models in Capacity Development for Local Self Governance towards Urban Renewal and Rural Reconstruction, and prepared an analytical report with recommendations that were approved by the Prime Minister.

Gender

 

Gender equality is an integral part of EDCís values and work.  This is reflected in all situation analyses, strategies, project designs, M&E systems, business processes and evaluations assigned to EDC.  Depending on the context, positive discrimination in favour of women as well as rigorous gender analysis is considered appropriate.  EDCís work focuses strongly on gender aspects and promotes the empowerment and inclusion of women in development and governance.  We facilitate stakeholders to this effect with reference to relevant principles, commitments and policies, including those emanating from religious leaders, human rights and the MDGs.

  • Working for the UNDP Country Office in Pakistan, EDCís Managing Director reviewed the gender-related policies and practices of UNDP, in conjunction with those of its partners, including the government.  The assignment resulted in far-reaching but practical recommendations for changes in the internal environment and project cycle management.

  • A seven-person team (including two consultants on gender mainstreaming) found that half the civil society projects of leading CSOs, supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Islamabad, were silent on gender issues.  The team recommended feasible systemic changes for promoting gender analysis and equality.

Civil Society

 

EDC has supported the Rural Support Programmes (RSPs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) since the establishment of the firm.  The RSPs distinguish themselves from other non-governmental organizations by observing that they aim to assist the government in its poverty alleviation objectives.  Many CSOs, however, especially those working in culture and human rights, have found government to be less than benign.  EDC respects the diversity of views in civil society, and supports the inclusion of culture and rights-based approaches in civil society initiatives as well as officially-sponsored development.

  • Working for the Rural Support Programmes Network, and supported by the Council of Social Sciences of Pakistan, an EDC team carried out a research study on local level institutions (LLIs) in three provinces of the country during 2007-2008.  The study analyzedóand commendedósingle-sector as well as multipurpose LLIs sponsored by the RSPs.  It noted, however, that institutions such as these are generally starved of resources, and recommended that the RSPs develop and advocate a rights-based approach in pursuit of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for rural areas.

  • Commissioned by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, EDC fielded a seven-person team in 2008 for a comprehensive review of Norwayís Civil Society Portfolio in Pakistan, covering 17 leading CSOs in the areas of governance, culture, human rights (including gender and child rights) and the environment.  The team assessed programme results, strategic orientation and operational dimensions, and provided strategic advice on the future of the programme.  The need to strengthen monitoring and evaluation and the pro-poor and gender orientation of the portfolio were among the major findings of the review.

Informal Economy, Jobs and Microfinance

 

Accounting for more than 70% of the employed workforce, the informal economy is the poor personís economy in a country such as Pakistan.  An EDC study, commissioned by USAID, completed in 1990 and extensively quoted by the then Finance Minister, analyzed the causes and evolution of the informal economy in seven sectors (industry, finance, housing, transportation, trade, health and education) in eight cities, examining hypotheses from Hernando de Sotoís seminal work, The Other Path.  This was a formative experience that influenced EDCís wide-ranging involvement in sectors such as micro-enterprise development and microfinance, in both rural and urban areas.

  • In 2007, at the invitation of the of Independent South Asian Commission on Poverty Alleviation, EDCís Managing Director prepared case studies summing up Pakistanís innovative experiences in the development of katchi abadis (squatter settlements) and challenges to sustainability in microfinance.  The microfinance case study concluded that differences in the prevailing demand and supply conditions, particularly between urban and rural areas and occupations, inhibitóand will continue to inhibitóthe emergence of a standard sustainable model of microfinance.

  • In 2008, EDCís Managing Director carried out an analysis of trends in the labour market as part of the design of the workforce development initiative of the economic growth portfolio of USAID Pakistan.  The assignment included a review of unemployment trends and of government and non-governmental initiatives for employment and skills development.

Benchmarking, Training and Change Management

 

EDCís approach to benchmarking has been developed and refined over a period of 13 years.  It can be used for promotional purposes, stand-alone training or more comprehensive change management.  The basic idea is to learn from those who are ahead of others, recognizing that some people in an organization are better than others at doing the same job, and some organizations are better than others in the same field.  This provides an empirical basis for training personnel as well as institutionalizing change.  It can also be used to publicize the good practices of an organization, in either inspirational or operational terms.

  • During 1998-2000, an EDC team worked with the Human Development Initiative of UNDP Myanmar on a change management assignment.  This programme included 10 projects executed by five UN agencies and three international NGOs.  Operations analysis from the field to headquarters led to revision of operational policies and procedures for community participation and inter-agency co-ordination, revision of job descriptions, and training of staff and beneficiaries.

  • In 2007-2008, we documented the implementation practices of the Musalihat Anjumans, an alternative dispute resolution mechanism introduced in Pakistan at the local level.  Supported by UNDP and the Government, this programme introduced a strong element of gender justice in the reform process.  The documentation was intended to publicize good practices through an analytical report and individual case studies.