The Zambia threshold program sought to improve performance on the Ruling Justly and Economic Freedom indicators by focusing on reducing corruption and improving the business environment. The independent evaluation assesses the program’s achievement of its goals. Both MCC’s internal review of the Threshold Program and findings from this and other early threshold program evaluations led to the development of a body of “lessons learned” that will be applied going forward.
Results to Date
The independent evaluation found the following outcomes were achieved:
- Significantly reduced processing time for business registration and VAT registration. Perceptions regarding demands for informal payments at Patents and Companies Registration Offices improved but data for Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) was inconclusive;
- Improved access to business registration services for companies outside of Lusaka (specifically in the Copper Belt and Southern Province);
- Increased efficiency of bond repayment for transshipment of goods through the centralization of ASYCUDA;
- Piloting of a risk-based Accredited Customs Client Program, per World Customs Organization guidelines, which has reduced processing time at the border for enrolled clients; and
- Slightly faster processing time and improved perceptions on corruption in the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Despite these achievements, the independent evaluation found that:
- The Lands customer service center has not produced improvements in the incidence of informal payments or service delivery times as evidenced by staff interviews and customer surveys.
- Relevant units of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Integrity Committees at Lands, Immigration and ZRA have been maintained. However, only the ZRA’s Integrity Committee has data demonstrating increased reporting and investigation of staff ethics violations and this outcome cannot be attributed to ZTP.
- IT inputs (consisting of customized software and websites) are not being used in half of the participating MDAs that received them.
- Intended reforms at Zambia Development Agency were not undertaken due to institutional constraints beyond the control of the contractors.
- The integrated border management system is not operational at any site.
- The two non-governmental organization sub-grantees have not been able to sustain the activities begun under the Threshold Program.