iDC specialises in providing the following services, which cut across a range of sectors and sub-sectors in education, health, border health security, agriculture, water, human rights and governance: development communication; community organisation; environmental and natural resource management; human resource development; institution building; management training; monitoring and evaluation; programme management and technical assistance; project formulations and appraisals; project impact assessment; strategic plan development.
The company has vast experience in producing and publishing case studies and training materials. A number of these are on gender issues, among them a series of manuals developed for the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in Uganda to support training initiatives aimed at senior civil servants, district officials, members of the judiciary and paralegal workers. They dealt with mainstreaming gender in development planning at both national and district levels and in increasing gender sensitivity at different levels of government.
iDC consultants have a close knowledge of policy issues affecting various sectors – much of it acquired from the inside, as it were. For example, in the health sector, they have been involved in formulating policy related to the District Health Management Boards in Kenya; they have conducted workshops for heads of departments reviewing decentralisation strategies; and they have facilitated workshops on the National Drugs Policy and the National Pharmacy and Poisons Board in Kenya.
In the education sector, iDC has conducted a study concerning teacher-staffing norms in Kenya. Its consultants have been involved in formulating adult education policies and strategies around Africa, including countries as diverse as Somalia and Namibia. In the water sector, iDC consultants were involved in the formulation of Uganda’s Water Action Plan, and in the formulation of projects for handing over of water management to community groups in rural Kenya.
With regard to programme management and technical assistance, iDC has, in addition to acting as the PMU for the framework contract with the EC Delegation in Kenya and providing the Technical Advisory Team for Kenya’s National Civic Education Programme, implemented a framework contract for Kenya’s Community Development Trust Fund. The company has provided technical assistance services for three projects financed by the EC in Kenya: The Community Development Environment Management Project, the Drought Management Initiative and, ongoing, the Kenya Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (KASAL) research programme.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Much of iDC’s current work is concerned with carrying out M&E assignments. Its consultants have expertise and experience of both quantitative and qualitative approaches to conducting surveys and assessing the impact of humanitarian and development interventions:
- The company’s consultants were involved in the implementation of the first phase of the ROM system of monitoring EU-funded projects across Africa.
- For the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Service Delivery, iDC designed and implemented an outcome evaluation system for assessing the impact of the programme in Puntland, Somaliland and South-Central Somalia.
- Together with colleagues from NCG Uganda and for the Ford Foundation, iDC produced Alternative M&E: a catalogue of approaches and tools more appropriate for agencies working in the fields of human rights and social justice.
- For work in conflict-affected states, iDC has applied its expertise in developing third party monitoring systems for OCHA’s Common Humanitarian Fund for Somalia.
From its beginnings, assignments related to development communication have been core activities of iDC. For numerous clients in many different countries the company’s consultants have facilitated the formulation of communication strategies, designed civic education campaigns and public awareness materials:
- For many years iDC has been commissioned by the Aga Khan Foundation, and especially the Aga Khan Health Service, to produce project and policy briefs, manuals and guidelines, on primary health care programmes and management of rural-based health facilities.
- For Kenya’s National Civic Education Programme (Uraia), the company produced a resource pack for use by the civic society organisations and media houses implementing the programme.
- A resource pack on civic education for use by UNICEF and NGOs conducting awareness raising campaigns for the public, local government officials, and political leaders in Somalia.
iDC consultants have carried out a wide variety of research assignments over the 25 years the company has been operating. Three examples are:
- For the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance, baseline studies in the three administrations of Somalia (Somaliland, Puntland and South-Central Somalia) focusing on capacities of local authorities for the delivery of basic services and in the public perceptions of the legitimacy and effectiveness of the various structures of local government.
- For the World Bank, a profiling of cities (the provincial capitals) of South Sudan, identifying the demographic features, political structures, economic activities, availability of services, and security situation.
- A study on the ‘gatekeepers’ in the IDP camps of Mogadishu: those who control access to the camps, providing some essential services, such as availing land and maintaining security – but also often exploiting the IDPs in demanding money and controlling the distribution of relief supplies.
Research influencing policy
All three of the above examples have a policy-influencing function: informing either government ministries, donor agencies or implementing NGOs, and influencing the design and execution of project strategies. Other similar examples of ‘research into policy’:
- John Fox, Managing Director of iDC, was team leader of an assignment to construct a case study of Nepal as part of a multi-donor evaluation of donor strategies in support of Voice and Accountability initiatives: impacting on governance through enhancing public participation and building the capacities of government agencies.
- Other iDC consultants were engaged in a Set/Dev programme, funded by the European Commission, to develop an African Manifesto on Science and Technology, recognising achievements, identifying constraints, and recommending strategies for research and development in African countries.
Training & Capacity Development
Throughout the years iDC has been involved in the design and delivery of capacity development programmes and the production of training materials. A particular concern has been to promote participatory and experiential modes of training.
Three recent examples:
- For the EU, a module on bringing human rights and conflict sensitive perspectives to the design and management of programmes it was funding in northern Uganda.
- A training module on access to justice and human rights for the Ministry of Justice in Zambia, targeting the Judiciary, the Police and Prison Services – and training institutions incorporating the module in their curricula.
- For Plan International Kenya, a resource pack and a related orientation programme for training managers (mainly from Kenya’s Ministry of Health) of community-led total sanitation (CLTS) projects.
Project & Programme Management
iDC has been involved in numerous programme formulation and management initiatives. Its consultants and familiar with logframe and ‘theory of change’ approaches to project design. The company also has the resources for projects and programme management. Examples:
- For Diakonia Sweden, iDC produced Managing the Cycle: a manual focusing on designing projects, formulating project, formulating project proposals, and writing monitoring reports.
- For the European Commission in Kenya, as part of a consortium, iDC established a management unit for implementing a framework contract for selecting and deploying consultancy teams engaged with EU-funded projects in Kenya.
- Also for the EC, and in partnership with NRI (UK), iDC established a programme management unit and provided technical assistance to the Kenya Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (KASAL) research programme of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute.
PO Box 25528, 00603, Nairobi, Kenya