Criteria to monitor the poverty alleviation, empowerment and institutional performance of equity-share schemes in South African agriculture
This paper extends a previous study in South Africa aimed at developing methodology for assessing the performance of equity-share schemes. The previous study proposed four broad criteria to measure performance: poverty alleviation; empowerment and participation; institutional arrangements and governance; and financial performance. This paper does not aim to assess the performance of existing equity-share schemes but to develop a methodology for the first three criteria based on empirical analysis of data gathered in 2004 from a land reform project in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal and seven established equity-share schemes in the Western Cape. Poverty alleviation is measured using a transition matrix of households grouped by four different symptoms of poverty: current income, wealth, health and a principal component index of housing quality. Eight categories of indicators are recommended for empowerment and participation: control and ownership; skills transfer; understanding; information; outcomes; trust; outreach; and participation. A scorecard applying norms based on empirical evidence gathered at the equity-share schemes in the Western Cape is used to test the indicators. A scorecard approach is also applied to institutional arrangements and governance, which are measured using three categories of indicators: accountability, transparency and property rights. The proposed performance measures are relevant, manageable in number and have feasible norms based on empirical evidence. These indicators and their norms need to be tested on a wider scale and monitored over time. Future research should be undertaken to determine weights for the empowerment and institutional indicators.
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