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Final Report






May 2003

Education Consultants (Pty) Ltd

Private Bag 00399





Executive Summary

1 Introduction

1 Methodology

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The Household Survey

2.3 Business Survey

2.4 VDC Focus Group Discussions

2.5 Contractor Interview

2.6 Other Baseline Data

2.7 Control Community

2 The Baseline Survey

3.1 The Project Area

2.2 The Road Construction

3.3 Pilikwe – Mhalapitsa Road

3.3.4 Mhalapitsa Baseline Data

3.4 Gootau – Goo-Sekgweng Road

3.5.3 Goo-Sekgweng Baseline Data

3.4.4 Gootau Baseline Data

3.5 The Control Community

3 Observations

Annex A

Terms of reference







Annex B

Data Collection Instruments


Section A: Household identification

Section B: Household details

Section G: HH involvement in the LBRC Project (not applicable in control community)

SCHOOL ___________________________ COMMUNITY ______________..97 A Number and names of children normally NOT wearing school uniform..............97 Surname of Child

Surname of Child

Annex C

Persons Interviewed


–  –  –

The Labour-Based Road Construction Pilot Project (LBRCP) is organised under the Institutional Cooperation Agreement between the Roads Department (Ministry of Works, Transport & Communication) and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. The labour-based road construction strategy has been developed to contribute to the implementation of the Government of Botswana’s policies on poverty alleviation through employment creation, and increasing private sector involvement in the building of the economy.

The demonstration project is being implemented in the Tswapong Hills, to the east of Palapye. Access roads are being constructed between the villages of Pilikwe and Mhalapitsa, and between Goo-Sekgweng and Gootau. In both cases construction began in August 2002. The aim of the pilot project is to test and assess the feasibility of constructing roads, using a labour intensive approach that is organised and managed by the private sector.

Given the socio-economic emphasis of the Institutional Cooperation Agreement, the Tswapong Hills Access Roads demonstration project also provides the opportunity to assess the extent to which a labour-based approach to road construction positively impacts on socio-economic status of communities, and specifically the households, involved. ILO/ASIST has been engaged to carry out technical audits and special studies to highlight problems and constraints that need to be resolved for a large-scale application of labour-based methods using small-scale citizen contractors. The Baseline Study was commissioned by ILO/ASIST as part of this mandate.

The overall purpose of the baseline survey is to collect socio-economic data that can be used as a point of comparison to assess the positive (and negative) impacts of the labour-based approach on the working households, and the non-working households, in the participating communities. Given this purpose, and based on the terms of

reference for the survey (see Annex A), the survey concentrated on:

♦ defining the pre-project behaviour and the socio-economic situation of the population in the project areas;

♦ identifying problems that have the potential to hamper a gender balanced participation in the labour-based construction works;

♦ reviewing the existing selection criteria for roads to be constructed using labourbased methods;

The baseline survey was organised in March 2003. It was undertaken in the four communities participating in the road construction, i.e. Pilikwe, Mhalapitsa, GooSekgweng, and Gootau, and in the control community of Maape.

Data has been collected through structured household interviews, discussions with the Village Development Committees, semi-structured interviews with community businesses, interviews with the contractor, and discussions with the local primary schools and clinics. In each of the project communities 40 households that had registered to work on the road construction project, and ten households that have not registered were targeted. For both categories the aim was to interview an equal number of female (FHH) and male headed (MHH) households. Household selection was guided by the list of workers compiled by the contractor. In the control community the target was 25 male headed households and 25 female headed households.

Data collection at the household level was designed to focus on key variables that, if positively influenced by a household’s participation in the road project, are likely to have a significant impact on the longer-term social and economic well-being of a

household. Thus, the baseline survey collected data on a household’s:

• Current housing status.

• Household Possessions

• Agricultural Assets

• Current sources of income

• Skill base

• Education In each area of focus specific ‘benchmarks’ were chosen to serve as a point of comparison in the post-project impact assessment. For example, under ‘ Household possessions’, ownership or non-ownership of a bed was selected as a benchmark.

Particular attention was given to the role of women in the household. Traditionally women are responsible for cooking, and fetching fuel wood and water. These responsibilities are both physically demanding and time consuming. Any changes that will reduce this burden can be said to have had a significant social impact.

In total 130 households that have or had a member working on the road construction project were interviewed in the four project communities. Sixty-three of these households were female headed, and 67 male headed households. In the majority of cases, it was another household member that has or is working on the project. Only in 47 (36%) of the households was the household headed employed.

Selection of workers was based on a ballot system, organised at the kgotla. Gender was taken into consideration, with one line being formed for men and another women.

The only other social criterion applied was fitness to undertake physical work. In the actual hiring of workers this latter criterion was given emphasis by the contractor.

Bush clearing was considered to be more suitable work for men than women. The communities appear to have the same view. As the nature of the work has changed more employment opportunities have been given to women. Overall a reasonable gender balance has been achieved in the male / female employment ratio.

The household interview was the main tool for collecting data on current socioeconomic status of households. Whilst there are some variations between households,

the data shows that amongst the households working on the road project:

Household’s tasks are largely divided along traditional gender lines. In MHHs the female partner and other household members are responsible for most of the domestic tasks. However, the male household head tends to have a more prominent role in the collection of fuel wood. In female headed households domestic tasks tend to be shared equally between the

–  –  –

The majority of households have a combination of traditional and modern housing. However, 42% of all the households do not have a modern (brick built) housing structure. Fewer FHHs have a modern house; 52% of FHHs compared to 64% of MHHs have a modern house.

Most households have a latrine. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of all the project households have a latrine. More FHHs (38%) than MHHs (25%) do not have any type of latrine in their yard.

The majority of households (78%) have a fence around their yard. Twentynine households have do not have a fenced yard. A higher percentage of FHHs (29%), compared to MHHs (16%), do not have a fenced yard.

–  –  –

In terms of ownership of agricultural assets, FHHs are less well equipped than MHHs. This is most pronounced in ownership of livestock. Seventythree percent (73%) of MHHs, compared to 60% FHHs own smallstock, and 51% of MHHs compared to 35% of FHHs, own cattle. However, 47% of FHHs, compared to 40% of MHHs, own a donkey cart.

Few households reported having skills that they can use to find employment. Seventy-eight percent (78%, 101) households said that they have no skills that they can use to find employment. This applied to 67% of MHHs and 83% of FHHs. Few of those households with employable skills have found any type of work in the last six months.

The majority of households are able to purchase uniforms for the children attending school. Approximately 80 – 90% of all the households said that their children normally attend school in uniform. The payment of ‘pot fees’ appears to be more problematic, for both MHHs and FHHs.

The communities as a whole, and the individual households involved regard the road project as an important source of regular cash income. Opportunities for regular paid employment in the communities are very few. Twenty-two percent (22%, 32) of the households working on the project source of cash income prior to starting work.

Seventeen percent (17%, 22) said that their main source of cash income was from pensions. A further 20% (26) relied on remittances from other family members. Only 5% (6) households were engaged in any type of business activity All the communities surveyed are marked by the minimal formal sector entrepreneurial activity, including retail shops.

The socio-economic status of households in the control community of Maape is similar. FHHs have fewer economic assets than MHHs. Pensions and remittances are the most important source of cash income. However, a lower percentage of households have modern housing (in comparison to the project communities), and fewer households have a latrine. Only three households in the control community have a private water connection. Fewer households own a wheelbarrow that they can use for collecting water. Households in the control community appear to be marginally poorer than those in the project communities.

The implementation of the road project was discussed with the Village Development Committees. Overall, they strongly support the project and the employment

opportunities it has created. Concerns were, however, expressed about:

Changes in employment practices. In the initial stages of the project worker recruitment was done at the kgotla. This is considered to the right venue to ensure transparency and fairness. Since January the contractor has been recruiting workers at his office or on-site.

Employment of more than one worker from a household at the same time.

It is felt that all households should be a given a chance to participate.

The limited interaction between the contractor and the Village Development Committees. The latter feel that they are not sufficiently informed to be able advice workers, and/or the contractor when problems arise.

1 Introduction The Labour Based Tswapong Access Road Construction Project (LBRCP) involves the construction of roads between Pilikwe and Mhalapitsa, and between Goo-Sekgweng, and Gootau.

The application of the labour-based methods in road works has been organised through the Institutional Cooperation Agreement between the Roads Department (Ministry of Works, Transport & Communication) and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. ILO/ASIST was engaged to carry out technical audits and special studies to highlight problems and constraints that need to be resolved for a large-scale application of labour-based methods using small-scale citizen contractors. This baseline study is part of the special studies.

The Department has not previously applied the labour-based approach using local contractors. Thus, demonstration projects through which information would be collected as a basis for a large-scale application of the method in future are a key feature of the implementation strategy. However, Demonstration Projects using smallscale labour-based contractors for routine maintenance were implemented for one and a half years up to the end of December 2001. The socio-economic impact of that demonstration project was assessed in July – August 2002.

The Demonstration Project using a small-scale labour-based contractor for construction commenced in August 2002. Nee Joy contractor has been engaged to construct 10 kms of road in the Tswapong Hills area. The contractor has been engaged for a period of 12 months.

One of the reasons of adopting labour-based methods in road construction is to contribute to the national objectives of employment creation, poverty reduction, and economic growth. The demonstration project offers an opportunity to try the labourbased approach and gain experience before embarking on a full-scale programme. The socio-economic baseline study is intended to compliment the post project impact study in ascertaining the viability and desirability of labour-based construction methods.

The terms of reference for the study are given in Annex A. Within the framework set

out by the terms of reference, the study has concentrated on:

♦ defining the pre-project behaviour and the socio-economic situation of the population in the project areas;

♦ identifying problems that have the potential to hamper a gender balanced participation in the labour-based construction works;

♦ reviewing the existing selection criteria for roads to be constructed using labourbased methods;

♦ suggesting how socio-economic benefits can be maximised, based on review of the current practice and literature review of the maintenance pilot project impact study.

The report briefly discusses the methodology employed for the baseline study (Section 2), details the findings of the study (Section 3), and discusses the significance of those findings (Section 4).

1 Methodology

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