Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CareShop Ghana ... what about follow through?

Dear Colleagues

I very much liked the case study prepared by Joel Segre and Julia Tran about the Ghana Social Marketing Foundation Enterprises Limited (GSMFEL) initiative to build a CareShop franchise system in Ghana. But while I liked the case study, I am bothered by the fact that the initiative has serious financial constraints that will probably result in its demise unless something different happens. I posted this comment on the WRI NextBillion.net blog:
The case study of CareShop Ghana is, in my view, well done ... but the value of the study is only going to be realized if there is appropriate follow through.

But it is far from clear that there will be appropriate follow through ... the global health system and the international development assistance community are good at studies and writing reports, and not so good at turning the issues raised and the recommendations into action that solves the problems. The issues are big and the funding available limited, and frequently allocated to low impact work.

The issue of drug supply has been around since I first working in the development arena 30 years or more ago ... some of the issues are far worse now than in earlier times, including the sophistication of the drugs and the counterfeits.

My organization has a big concern over sustainability ... and has developed the concept of Community Impact Accountancy (CIA) to help the donor community appreciate the social good that is being created by some organizations that are having difficulties with their financial sustainability.

If CareShop Ghana were the subject of CIA reporting, it might well be a slam dunk for it to get the funding it needs to keep going ... with GAAP reports the raison d'etre for the initiative is totally ignored, which, we would argue, is pretty silly.

Peter Burgess
While I am not in possession of all the facts, the report and the rather modest amount of financial information suggests that while the initiative is in financial trouble, the initiative is delivering a massive social benefit and its community impact is huge.

It would be interesting to do Community Impact Accountancy (CIA) around the CareShop initiative ... and my understanding of the situation suggests that a CIA report would show that the CareShop impact justifies its work.

Note that CIA is an accountancy framework ... not monitoring and evaluation (M&E) ... and not ad-hoc study. What CIA does is to provide for society at large, the public, the people ... a system that enables resources to be better allocated to activities that are efficient and deliver important benefits to society.

This could be a good area for the deployment of CIA.

Please contact me for further information.


Peter Burgess

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