An Evaluation of the impact of activity based reporting methodology on the reporting timelines using the regression discontinuity analysis: A case study of the Global Fund Program in Kenya

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
Originally published


ABSTRACT Background Information: The Principal Recipient (PR) for Global Fund (GF) program requires that the sub recipients (SRs) submit their monthly reports by the 5th of every month. Further, the reporting timelines is one of the top 10 indicators of the program and a priority indicator to the GF. It was established that the sub recipients take approximately 5 days for report development and compilation. It then takes the PR another 5 days to review and submit the feedback to the SRs. This sums up to 10 days a month totalling to 120 days in a year which is equivalent to 4 months. This is time that could be used for program implementation and service delivery. With the adoption of activity based reporting methodology, the wastage of implementation time is reduced. Purpose of the Evaluation: To evaluate the extent to which the Activity Based Reporting by SR has improved the reporting timelines to the PR in the Global Fund program in Kenya. Significance of the Evaluation: The assessment was to determine whether the timelines has improved, reduction of time wastage due to implementation cut-offs for reporting and by developing the body of knowledge in the subject of best practices in the management of reports for consortium and partner organisations in Principal – Sub granted organisation funding models. By understanding the number of days that the activity based reporting improves on the reporting time, it is hoped that the program will adopt the approach on a wide scale thereby improving on the general reporting timelines to the donor and other stakeholders. Literature review: a review of literature reveal that researchers are cognisant that the exercise of reporting to the donors requires time and human resource investments. For this reason, programs seek to employ strategies that will reduce on the time and efforts required for completion of the reports but still maintain or improve on the program information capture and utilisation. Most donors globally expect quarterly, semi-annual or just annual reports however certain factors like risk of the program could dictate that the reporting be done more frequently like monthly or even weekly. There is also very little research that has been done on reporting approaches for sub granted organisation and the extent to which the different approaches improve on the reporting timelines. The findings of this research will therefore fill a gap in the body of knowledge. Methodology: The study adopted a regression discontinuity methodology at 5% level of significance to compare the reporting timelines before and after September 2018 when the Activity Based Reporting Methodology was introduced. The methodology included a treatment group and a control group of 7 organisations in each group. Evaluation Results: Reporting improvement timelines for the treatment group. This has improved timeliness of the SRs by an averaged 4 days. Recommendations: SRs recommended that the narrative reports being submitted through the ABR should be simplified versions and should be captured in reporting templates that just captures what is required for decision making by the PR. They also recommended that the ABR be documented and included as an SOP for reporting for the Global fund program for standard setting and to ensure that all SR staff are working in synergy in ensuring reports are submitted according to the guidelines.