Having access to the basic services of water and sanitation, health, education and income support is fundamental to a transition out of poverty. Access to basic services is also a fundamental right, enshrined in international agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Despite this, many of the world’s poor people do not enjoy these essentials.
The barriers that limit poor people’s access to basic services operate on a number of different levels. There are factors that limit the supply or quality of service provision, at national level (such as inadequate allocation of public resources), at sectoral level (such as policies affecting recruitment or salary levels) and local level (such as location of facilities or poor staff management and motivation). There are also factors that limit people’s willingness to use available services such as cultural beliefs or gender based discrimination.
SDDirect consultants work at all levels and from a 'demand' and 'supply' perspective to enhance people’s access to basic services. We specialise in ensuring that community and service users' perspectives are taken into account in assessing, improving and evaluating basic service provision. We bring expertise that makes explicit the social, political and cultural factors that influence people’s access to basic services. We recognise that men and women, boys and girls have different experiences in accessing basic services and that there are different gender based needs and constraints. We are experienced in ensuring that the needs of the very poorest are identified and acted upon.
SDDirect works on access to basic services with clients in government, donor agencies and with private sector partners. Our experience with government clients encompasses national, provincial and local government. Our experience includes work at policy level, programme development, delivery, monitoring and evaluation.
The Maternal and Newborn Health Research and Advocacy Fund (RAF) was recently launched in Pakistan. A five-year project with a grant fund of £18.3 million, RAF will provide quality, non-clinical research and effective advocacy in support of policy and practice reform to improve the health of mothers and their newborn babies. The aim is to overcome current obstacles to successful service delivery through an understanding of the financial, cultural and physical barriers to increased demand and uptake of these services.
It is estimated that there are between 7 to 9 million children in Nigeria who are out of school. Social Development Direct, as a core partner in the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN), is helping to change this through technical assistance provided directly to state and federal governments. ESSPIN is one of the UK government's largest international development programmes and will support quality basic education reform over a six-year period.