Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

  • Closed Compact Report:  Closed Compact Report: Philippines Compact
  • April 2018

The Kalahi-CIDSS Project

Kalahi-CIDSS Community-Driven Development Project

  • $120,000,000Original Compact Project Amount
  • $124,999,276Total Disbursed

Estimated Benefits

Estimated benefits correspond to $120.0 million of project funds, where cost-benefit analysis was conducted.

Estimated Benefits for the Kalahi-CIDSS Community-Driven Development Project
Time Estimated Economic Rate of Return (ERR) over 20 years Estimated beneficiaries over 20 years Estimated net benefits over 20 years
At the time of signing 12.6% 5,200,000 $16,600,000
Based on final independent evaluation report 3% (The ERR rises to 28% if rice farmers are excluded from the calculation.) N/A N/A

Project Summary

During the previous five decades, the Philippines had consistently lagged behind other countries in the region with respect to government development expenditures as a percentage of GDP and infrastructure investment and quality. Inadequacies in infrastructure were a critical constraint to economic growth in the country, and the availability of basic infrastructure (water, sanitation, roads, and electricity) had deteriorated. In addition, the provision and use of education and health services varied across regions, particularly as a function of income.

The Kalahi-CIDSS Project – Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (Linking Arms Against Poverty) Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services – aimed to improve welfare in rural areas by targeting communities where poverty incidence was greater than the national average with small-scale, community driven development projects that targeted basic infrastructure needs. The project built upon and supported the application of the participatory planning, implementation, and evaluation methodology developed by the Government of the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development, in collaboration with the World Bank. The first phase of the World Bank-funded project (called KC1) was successfully implemented from 2003 to 2009 in 4,229 villages, or barangays, across 42 provinces, providing a wealth of information for MCC’s project appraisal.

Communities were selected to participate in the Kalahi-CIDSS Project based on specific criteria, including geographic location, poverty incidence, and the ability of communities to participate in the entire program. After a community was enrolled in Kalahi-CIDSS, the Community Empowerment Activity Cycle began. Each cycle followed a progression of strategies and activities to promote transparency and accountability. Projects were designed through a consultative process that incorporated input and priorities of the entire community, including women. From procurement to implementation to maintenance, all processes were discussed and agreed upon by the community. Over the course of three cycles, MCA-Philippines’ National Project Management Office gradually handed off responsibilities for the implementation of Kalahi-CIDSS activities to local governments to sustain.

The project empowered communities to participate fully in development activities that addressed the needs they identified and provided guidance on managing assets in a sustainable way. It improved the link between community priorities and the development programs of local government, and used investments in a transparent manner to promote greater accountability and reduce poverty. Grants were provided directly to local communities, who were then responsible for project selection, the procurement of goods and services, and in many cases, the operations and maintenance of physical assets.

Complementing projects like farm-to-market roads, school buildings, health stations, drainage systems and footpaths, the program also included a $1 million Gender Incentive Grant to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment at the village and municipal levels. The Gender Incentive Grant funded activities that addressed barriers to either men or women participating in community activities, decision-making processes, and economic activities such as non-traditional skills training for women, women support shelters, and maternity services. The effort particularly emphasized and encouraged women’s leadership and opportunities for paid employment through Kalahi-CIDSS. Women community volunteers made up 10 percent of paid skilled and unskilled labor in community project construction in 2015, a significant increase from a baseline of 3 percent in 2010. And more than 1,399 women benefited from certificate training on non-traditional skills such as plumbing, welding, electrical installation, carpentry, painting, tile-setting, hollow blocks-making and masonry.

With 3,760 small-scale, community-driven development projects in six regions of the Philippines, nearly 1 million households were served by Kalahi-CIDSS. In 2014, citing the success of the Kalahi-CIDSS Project and other community-driven development programs around the world, the Government made Kalahi-CIDSS a national model for development project planning and implementation with a focus on inclusive development and poverty alleviation.  The nationwide roll-out incorporated compact-introduced enhancements, such as environmental safeguards, enhanced methods of design and construction, and support for gender integration into project design and implementation.

Evaluation Findings

The evaluation of the Kalahi-CIDSS Project was a randomized, impact evaluation.  Because the project could not fund all eligible munipalities, eligible municipalities were randomly selected into the two groups. One group received the project (treatment group), and the other group did not (control group). The evaluation tracked outcomes for both groups and assessed impacts in three dimensions: (1) socioeconomic welfare, (2) local governance, and (3) community empowerment. In addition, within each of these dimensions, the evaluation examined whether impacts were different for different subgroups, including men/women, poor/nonpoor, indigenous/nonindigenous, among others. Findings within each of these dimensions are summarized below.

Socioeconomic Welfare

Kalahi-CIDSS Project investments in water, transportation, and education infrastructure were effective in delivering benefits to residents via 4,000 citizen-prioritized sub-projects.  Improved infrastructure decreased the time and cost spent to obtain water, expedited travel, and increased school enrollment. Yet, contrary to expectations, improved infrastructure reduced agricultural productivity.

The infrastructure sub-projects were effective at improving community access to key services, while showing no evidence that overall poverty status was affected. The construction of new classrooms through education sub-projects had significant effects on educational outcomes, with increased school enrollments and decreased student-to-teacher ratios in project areas compared to control areas (0.42 standard deviations). Water sub-projects substantially reduced the time and cost to obtain water.

In general, households in villages with road sub-projects had improved access to key services, such as schools, health clinics, and markets. However, road sub-projects had no effect on fishery, livestock, or poultry productivity, and unexpectedly reduced agricultural productivity. This is likely due to that fact that smallholder farmers shifted out of rice cultivation in villages where roads improved, though this evaluation was not designed to determine why farmers made this shift out of rice production. Since these smallholders typically have higher yields per hectare than larger holders, the average yield per hectare among remaining rice farmers declined.

Local Governance

The project improved local government responsiveness to community needs and effectively delivered services that communities preferred, such as classrooms, health clinics, and farm-to-market roads. The project increased knowledge and awareness of local governance among residents of project communities. Unexpectedly, residents in project areas felt less able to make changes compared to non-project communities.

Kalahi-CIDSS participatory processes were more effective than the status quo at delivering services that communities preferred, such as classrooms, health clinics, and farm-to-market roads. Consistent with this finding, 93 percent of respondents felt that the project addressed the most important priorities. Residents in project communities were also more familiar with local officials and governing bodies, and it was expected that they would use those skills outside of the project. At the same time, this knowledge was accompanied by a worsening perception of confidence and feeling less empowered to make change. Additionally, the project had no effect on participation in and knowledge of formal governance structures beyond Kalahi-CIDSS.

Community Empowerment

While Kalahi-CIDSS encouraged communities to engage in development activities, it was less effective at generating broader social changes related to community empowerment after the project ended. Exposure to project activities led residents to contribute to other civic activities at greater levels. On the interim survey, the intensity and frequency of interaction with neighbors about problems in the village were rated as significant and positive, but by the third survey, these peer interactions were no longer rated as significant. By the third round, however, there was no evidence that project communities were dealing any better with hardships or natural disasters. However, in 2015, before the third round of data collection, control groups began to implement the successor project to Kalahi-CIDSS, the Kalahi-CIDSS-National Community-Driven Development Project, funded by the Philippines government and World Bank, wherein the control group was exposed to socialization treatments. This may have diminished the measured impact of the project.

Differential Impact for Groups

Results were analyzed for different sub-groups (women vs. men, Indigenous Persons vs. Non- Indigenous Persons, and poor vs. non-poor). For most cases, there were no observable differential effects in the sub-groups. The only cases in which Kalhi-CIDSS affected people differently were for indigenous persons. Indigenous persons appeared to benefit substantially more from improvements in access to education than non-indigenous persons.

Learning from the Evaluation

  • The participatory Kalahi-CIDSS process is better than the status quo at identifying residents’ small infrastructure preferences. Incorporating community-driven development-like processes into future projects should allow for selection, design, and/or siting of small community infrastructure that better matches community preferences.
  • Kalahi-CIDSS does not appear to have changed citizen participation in local governance beyond the project. If this is to remain a key aspect of the community-driven development theory of change, consider targeting local political leaders for capacity-building or other project interventions.
  • The quality and sustainability of community infrastructure should be prioritized over cost and implementation time. In order to determine the appropriate design, consider both local design guidelines as well as international standards.
  • It may be worth further research to test which implementation modality results in superior infrastructure quality. One can envision that a non-community-driven development implementation model with heavy citizen engagement and input at the outset could still generate projects that meet community needs.
Status of the Evaluation
Component Status
Baseline Report Completed in 2013. Report and de-identified data are public.
Midline Report Completed in 2015. Report and de-identified data are public.
Endline Report Completed in 2018. Report and de-identified data are public.

Key performance indicators and outputs at compact end date

Key performance indicators and outputs at compact end date
Activity/Outcome Key Performance Indicator Baseline End of Compact Target Quarter 1 through Quarter 20 Actuals (as of Dec 2012) Percent Compact Target Satisfied (as of Dec 2012)
Grants for Community Projects Activity Number of barangays that have completed all trainings during the social preparation stage 0 3,000 3,760 125%
Number of Gender Incentive Grant-Funded Sub-Projects 0 No Target 55 No Target
Number of sub-projects completed with 100% physical accomplishment 0 3,217 4,011 125%
Number of sub-projects that contribute to disaster risk reduction (e.g. flood control, soil and water protection, coastal rehabilitation, mangrove management) 0 No Target 674 No Target

Explanation of Results

As highlighted above, the Government of the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development exceeded implementation targets, specifically, more villages completed all five stages of training and more small-infrastructure sub-projects were constructed than planned.