Principle 8


Put in place a clear exit strategy that leaves behind post-program structures for sustainability, expansion of services, and ongoing support.

Although SGs are designed to function autonomously after approximately 12 months, most FAs have been experimenting with the best solutions for providing ongoing support to the groups. Some have started to leave in place cadres of trainers to continue group formation post-project, and to support groups at share-outs, elections, or during challenging times. Others have been shaping alliances with municipal governments, local organizations, and village councils as a way to guarantee the recognition and continuity of SGs and the resolution of any disputes.

Elements of Principle 8

Guidance Notes

Clearly planned and communicated exit strategies

From the outset, develop an exit strategy that describes what services will be provided post-project, who will provide them, and how they will be paid for. The best post-project models understand the importance of training trainers or volunteers to continue offering their services once the project has ended. These models have clear procedures and standards for allowing existing trainers to certify new trainers, which helps to assure both expansion and quality. If staff are expected to transition to fee-for-service trainers post-program, that expectation must be made clear to both trainers and group members in the initial stages of the program.

Culturally appropriate post-project contracts

Where fee-for-service structures will replace direct program investment, put in place simple, culturally appropriate contracts between trainers and SGs outlining the specific services, how long these services will be provided, and the expectations for payment. FFS trainers need guidance post-project to keep their motivation and professionalism, and to make sure that they are able to charge fees from the groups they serve. In the same way, group members need protection from trainers who might badger them into accepting perpetual training or demand annual dues even in the absence of any services provided.

Carefully designed oversight structures

Create pro-consumer codes of conduct for any trainers who continue to operate in a given area, and especially for fee-for-service networks. Ensure that these networks have occasional oversight post-program; inform local authorities and seek their acceptance of this structure. A system for post-project management of trainers that is heavily reliant on self-regulation by trainer networks has also been tried with good results.

Responsive redress mechanisms

Put in place a system for redress of grievances, such as a hotline that group members may call if they have experienced problems with local governments, external agents, or FFS trainers. Carefully monitor the problems reported to the hotline and devise and execute response plans. Make sure that members understand and trust this system of redress.


Principle 7: Consistently monitor and evaluate program performance using responsible data collection, management and dissemination practices.

All Principles


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