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Title: SD abstracts technical information from the Africa Bureau's Office of Sustainable Development, AFRSD
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Language: English
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Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Creation Date: 1999
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Succeeded by: SD developments
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Succeeded by: USAID in Africa

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UNfVERS.'TV pr. *- ~ -**-f

U.S. Agency for International Development-USAID


Technical Information from the Africa Bureau's
Office of Sustainable Development-AFR/SD

Summer/Fall 1999

Most of these documents can be
downloaded in full-text free of charge using
the search option at http://www.dec.org/.


Malawi's Environmental
Monitoring Program: A Model that
Merits Replication?
Tobin, Richard J. Winrock International Envi-
ronmental Alliance, USAID/AFR/SD, Washing-
ton, DC; USAID/Malawi. SD Publication Series:
Technical Paper No. 92. April 1999. 43 p. $3.00
paper, $2.00 electronic on disk

This report documents the progress of the
Malawi Environmental Monitoring Program
(MEMP), a program supported by USAID as a
potential model for use in other sub-Saharan
African countries. The MEMP's primary objec-
tive is to address the potential environmental
impacts of increased smallholder production of
burley tobacco, one of the country's largest
sources of foreign exchange, in terms of soil
erosion, water quality, and deforestation.
Considerable progress has been made to date in
developing an indigenous environmental moni-
toring capacity, a major thrust of the MEMP.

In this issue...

Health .............. ,...................................... 2
Economics .,.......................3.................... 3
Agriculture ................................. 6
Education ............................... .......... 7
Cross-Sectoral........................................ 7

Monitoring skills have been enhanced consider-
ably, and there is a cadre of Government of
Malawi (GOM) employees who are comfortable
in the use of geographic information systems.
Nonetheless, several issues warrant attention.
The four pilot monitoring sites are not necessar-
ily representative of smallholder burley produc-
tion, making it impossible to establish credible
links between what is observed at the catch-
ment level and national trends, and rendering
doubtful the MEMP's ability to provide useful
data on the relation between burley tobacco
and its environmental impacts. Of particular
importance is the debate on how much wood is
required to cure tobacco; Malawi has one of the
world's highest rates of deforestation. The
MEMP emphasizes collection of data on defor-
estation, soil erosion, and water quality, but
pays considerably less attention to the impacts
of a degraded environment on Malawi's endan-
gered or threatened species and their habitats.
Also, no Malawian interviewed for the report
was able to identify an instance in which results
from the MEMP have led to any mitigation,
changes in policy, or proposals for changes in
such policies. Few policymakers are aware of
what the MEMP offers, and none of them have
requested analyses of the MEMP's data or
proposals for policy changes. The project has
addressed this issue by placing an environmen-
tal policy advisor in the Ministry of Research
and Environmental Affairs and an environmen-
tal scientist at the University of Malawi. An
emphasis on the environmental impacts of
policy reforms may not be sufficiently broad for
the GOM's needs, and the impacts may not be
perceived as meriting special attention. It may
be unrealistic to assume, therefore, that the
GOM will continue to monitor solely or prima-
rily to identify the environmental impacts of
diffuse and multiple policy reforms. In view of
the current situation with the MEMP, including
uncertaintyiny about its purposes and intended

a Abstracts Summer/Fall 1999 2

duration, the development of a strategic moni-
toring plan is recommended. This plan would
specify the MEMP's purposes and then use these
purposes to justify the data to be collected.
MEMP experience indicates that the develop-
ment of an effective environmental monitoring
system requires considerable planning, fore-
sight, and patience, with success dependent
primarily on agreement over ultimate goals and
the ways to achieve them, and on host country
capacity to analyze and interpret the volumi-
nous data that MEMP's sophisticated equipment
makes available. USAID's efforts to replicate the
MEMP elsewhere should therefore proceed with
caution. This document is available in full-text at

Forgotten Waters: Freshwater and
Marine Ecosystems in Africa-
Strategies for Biodiversity
Conservation and Sustainable
Shumway, Carolyn A. Boston University; New
England Aquarium; World Wildlife Fund-U.S.,
Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute,
1999. 167 p.

Governments and donors should care about
protecting the biodiversity of African freshwa-
ter and marine systems because there are sound
economic and developmental reasons for ex-
panding efforts in aquatic conservation and
sustainable development. The people of sub-
Saharan Africa depend on biological resources
for food, shelter, and income, and will continue
to do so for years to come. Aquatic ecosystems
provide innumerable economic and ecological
benefits. For example, wetlands provide waste-
water treatment; aid in flood control; act as
feeding, breeding, and nursery grounds for fish;
purify water supplies; protect coastal areas; and
are the source of a variety of products that can
be harvested sustainably. In addition, the
aquatic world, which contains more phlya than
land, protects much of the planet's genetic
diversity. Unfortunately, the productivity and
diversity of these ecosystems are threatened by
a plethora of shortsighted approaches. These

include aquatic and land use decisions such as
the introduction of exotic species; overfishing;
deforestation; agricultural, municipal, and
industrial pollution; conversion of sites for
agriculture and aquaculture; large-scale irriga-
tion; poor land-use planning; and inappropriate
policies. However, steps can be taken now to
reverse or halt some of the damage to African
aquatic ecosystems. A set of recommendations is
given to contribute to the sustainable utilization
and conservation of aquatic biodiversity in
Africa. They include: 1) improve institutional
capacity; 2) encourage appropriate economic and
sectoral policies; 3) involve the community; 4)
support needed research; 5) mimic natural
disturbance regimes: maintain or restore natural
hydrological cycles; 6) assist with the establish-
ment of critical aquatic reserves, which can
provide both conservation and fisheries ben-
efits; and 7) assist with the development of
sustainable fisheries, i.e., fisheries compatible
with biodiversity goals. A case study section
shows how these recommendations might be
applied to 14 aquatic ecosystems in Africa.


Health and Family Planning
Indicators: Measuring
Sustainability, Volume II
USAID/AFR/SD, Washington, DC. February
1999. 56 p. $7.28 paper, $2.00 electronic on disk
(Volume I: PN-ABZ-390)

This publication builds on the work of The
Working Document on Health and Family Planning
Indicators: A Tool for Results Frameworks, published
by the Africa Bureau's Office of Sustainable
Development in 1996 (PN-ABZ-390). This
document presents a commonly accepted model
of a health and family planning results frame-
work. It defines sustainability as: "...the ability
of host country entities (community, public and/
or private) to assume responsibility for pro-
grams and/or outcomes without adversely
affecting the ability to maintain or continue
program objectives or outcomes." In response to

d Abstracts Summer/Fall 1999 3

USAID field missions needs, AFR/SD developed
Volume II as a supplement to measure sustain-
ability in the health sector. It is intended for use
by program officers and program managers to
help them define indicators of sustainability for
their health and family planning programs.
Volume II is intended to be used as a resource
document that can be referred to during pro-
gram design and program assessment activities.
There are two types of sustainability indicators
for health and family planning programs. The
first type of indicator examines outcomes lon
after program interventions have been com-
pleted. The second type of indicator examine
aspects of ongoing programs and activities
can be used to predict future sustainability.
These indicators are used for monitoring a
process evaluation purposes. This document
primarily focused on the second type of in
tor. Although some of the indicators in this
document can be applied retrospectively, mo
assume the purpose is to examine aspects of
current programs and activities that can be use
to predict future sustainability. To address
measurement of sustainability, AFR/SD first
developed a conceptual framework for Africa.
This framework emphasizes the importance of U
sustaining the health status of a population
through improved use of health services, im-
proved health practices, or both. Volume II
includes a discussion of the framework elements
followed by related indicators. Each indicator is
presented with a more detailed definition (as
necessary), a discussion section to clarify its use
in relationship to sustainability, a proposed data
source, and a reference to the original source.
This document is available in full-text at http://


Transaction Costs Analysis of
Maize and Cotton Marketing in
Zambia and Tanzania
Kahkonen, Satu; Howard Leathers. University
of Maryland, Center for Institutional Reform
and the Informal Sector. USAID/AFR/SD,
Washington, DC. SD Publication Series: Techni-

cal Paper No. 105. June 1999. 103 p. $3.00 paper

Throughout eastern and southern Africa, the
1990s have seen radical changes in agricultural
marketing policies, leading to a reduced govern-
ment role and an increased private sector role.
This study examines the experiences in the
marketing of maize and cotton in Zambia and
Tanzania, where state-led and controlled mar-
keting of crops have given way to private sector
rticipation. The report addresses the degree
which the private sector has been successful
[ ling the vacancy left by retreating govern-
programs and identifies some of the
i tional impediments that continue to limit
ficiency of private sector marketing ar-
ments by raising transaction costs. An
t is made to organize, in a systematic
institutional imperfections that may lead to
in ficient marketing. Section 2 defines the
trms-transaction costs, marketing margins,
marketing efficiency, and institutions-used in
he paper. A brief conceptual model in section 3
illustrates the importance of reduced transaction
costs (or improved marketing efficiency) in
hieving widespread market participation. The
model shows that policies aimed at removing
institutional impediments to further reductions
in these costs are potentially a more cost-
effective way of achieving some of the same
objectives that were being pursued by govern-
ment marketing schemes. The remainder of the
paper analyzes the impact of the liberalization of
maize and cotton marketing in Zambia and
Tanzania and assesses the efficiency of prevail-
ing marketing arrangements. Section 4 briefly
describes the data that was used in this exercise,
while sections 5 and 6 describe the evolution of
and major characteristics of the marketing
chains for maize and cotton, respectively, in
Zambia. The latter sections also analyze the
efficiency of the marketing structure, describe
some of the most important existing marketing
inefficiencies in each of the markets, and trace
each inefficiency back to its fundamental institu-
tional cause. Sections 7 and 8 assess in turn the
marketing of maize and cotton in Tanzania.
Concluding remarks are made in section 9
concerning: the structure of marketing arrange-
ments under liberalization; factors influencing
transaction costs; institutional impediments to

1B Abstracts Summer/Fall 1999 4

efficient marketing; and priorities for institu-
tional change. This document is available in full-text
on the Internet at http://www.afr-sd.org/pub.htm.

The following five papers are produced by
the Equity and Growth through Economic
Research Project (EAGER). They are
available in full-text at http://

Calculating the Revenue-
Maximizing Excise Tax
Haughton, Jonathan. Harvard Institute for
International Development; USAID/AFR/SD,
Washington, DC. African Economic Policy
Discussion Paper No. 13. December 1998. 23 p.
$2.99 paper, $2.00 electronic on disk (figures 1-5
included in paper version only)

This methodological note explains how to
calculate the revenue-maximizing excise tax rate
for goods such as gasoline, beer, or cigarettes.
The note considers the cases of linear, logarith-
mic, and Box-Cox demand curves for a single
good, as well as the situation where two substi-
tutes are taxed. The methodology is applied to
the demand for gasoline and diesel fuel in
Madagascar, where it is shown that the current
(1996) excise tax rates are significantly below
their revenue-maximizing levels.

Measuring Competitiveness and
its Sources: The Case of Mali's
Manufacturing Sector
Cockburn, John; Eckhard Siggel; et al. Harvard
Institute for International Development;
USAID/AFR/SD, Washington, DC. African
Economic Policy Discussion Paper No. 16.
October 1998. 29 p. $3.77 paper, $2.00 electronic
on disk

This paper summarizes a detailed quantitative
study (available from the author.
the competitiveness of the mac
in Mali. Data from a sample
in C6te d'Ivoire are used for c
method of analysis focuses on theiSurces of

competitiveness and the distinction between
comparative advantage and competitiveness at
the firm and industry levels. After a survey of
the relevant literature (section 1), the method of
analysis is presented in section 2, followed by a
short description of Mali's manufacturing sector
and policy environment in section 3 and the
major findings in section 4. Results indicate that
manufacturing firms in Mali are competitive
only in their local market, where high tariffs on
imports offset their fundamental lack of com-
parative advantage. Regional integration and
trade liberalization thus constitute major chal-
lenges, with only the textiles sector in a position
to potentially exploit the resulting export oppor-
tunities. There are, however, other industries,
as well as areas for improvements in firm
performance and policy reform. In general,
given its low wages, Mali's manufacturing
potential lies in labor-intensive industries rather
than the capital- and material input-intensive
activities that have predominated in the past.
The policy conclusions concern not only the
present situation of Malian firms relative to
international and Ivorian competitors, but also
their prospects under ongoing trade liberaliza-
tion and Mali's adhesion to the recently-created
West African Economic and Monetary Union.

Enhancing Transparency in Tax
Administration: A Survey
Wadhawan, Satish C.; Clive Gray. Harvard
Institute for International Development;
Howard University, USAID/AFR/SD, Washing-
ton, DC. African Economic Policy Discussion
Paper No. 3. July 1998. 37 p. $4.81 paper, $2.00
electronic on disk

Uneven tax administration in Africa is a major
contributor to revenue shortfalls, augmenting
inflationary pressure and depriving govern-
ments of resources with which to provide public
goods. It also prompts governments to resort to
more easily collected taxes on foreign trade,
with associated efficiency losses. Reducing
evasion should ease the burden on economic
'a'h-s' r ly pay relatively high pro-
Sliabilities, thus increasing
a enhancing incentives for
s to invest and produce, and pro-

SAbstracts Summer/Fall 1999 5

moting growth with equity. The paper outlines
a framework for research on the issue of
whether enhanced transparency in tax adminis-
tration might increase compliance significantly
(or at least enough to yield a positive return on
research cost). The subject goes well beyond the
domain of economics, raising the question of
whether heightened understanding on the part
of economic agents about the extent and locus of
noncompliance and its implications for economic
stability and growth might 1) enhance the
willingness of agents to meet their legal liabili-
ties, 2) increase the effectiveness of the tax
services in enforcing the law, and 3) provide
guidance to policymakers on directions for tax
reform. Further light is shed on these issues by
a review of theoretical and empirical literature
on tax compliance, as well as an examination of
the problem of measuring tax evasion in the
specific context of Madagascar and Tanzania.

New Trade Opportunities for Africa
Salinger, B. Lynn; Anatolie Marie Amvouna;
Deirdre Murphy Savarese. University of
Yaounde; Harvard Institute for International
Development; Associates for International
Resources and Development, USAID/AFR/SD,
Washington, DC. African Economic Policy
Discussion Paper No. 6. July 1998. 26 p. $3.38
paper, $2.00 electronic on disk

This paper explores the new products, markets,
and modes of trade of which African businesses
must be aware to successfully compete in the
global marketplace. The authors address market
analysis techniques as well as the literature on
competitiveness. Specifically, the paper consid-
ers trade and investment promotion experi-
ences, including export promotion zones; duty
and indirect tax exemption, drawback and
rebate schemes; foreign direct investment
promotion; and entrepreneurship or private
sector development projects, all of which gov-
ernments frequently use as second-best mea-
sures to bolster trade and investment in the
absence of complete and effective macroeco-
nomic and sectoral policy liberalization. A final
section explores the expected effects of interna-
tional trade agreements on sub-Saharan Africa's
(SSA) new trade opportunities, concluding that
SSA participation in the Uruguay Round (UR) of

international trade negotiations produced mixed
results. Growing consensus suggests that the
UR's impact on SSA will be modest, and that
further liberalization of domestic economic
environments is essential to maximize gains
from UR negotiations. Since SSA agricultural
exports face relatively few tariff barriers, most
new product opportunities will be in manufac-
turing. It is expected that reductions in prefer-
ential access to traditional markets will encour-
age SSA producers to seek out alternative
export markets within the industrialized and
developing worlds. Finally, new agreements
with respect to trade-related investment mea-
sures and the trade-related aspects of intellec-
tual property rights will affect how SSA does
business in the future. The survey concludes
that SSA will have to undergo extensive changes
in its economic and business thinking if it is to
take advantage of new trade opportunities.
Researchers must therefore focus on upstream
issues, such as reskilling of workers, as well as
downstream issues, such as the effect on
growth, employment, incomes and their distri-
bution, consumption, nutrition, the environ-
ment, worker health and safety, etc. Expanded
recourse by SSA to new trade opportunities; the
impact of the UR on trade, investment, and
growth; new non-tariff forms of protection
which may thwart opportunities for Africa; and
developing an African entrepreneurial sector in
SSA countries capable of competing internation-
ally should also be studied. Earlier edition: PN-

Foreign Direct Investment and its
Determinants in Emerging
Wilhelms, Saskia K. S. Harvard Institute for
International Development; USAID/AFR/SD,
Washington, DC. African Economic Policy
Discussion Paper No. 9. July 1998. 56 p. $7.28
paper, $2.00 electronic on disk

Based on integrative theories of foreign direct
investment (FDI), the Institutional FDI Fitness
theory stipulates that FDI is determined less by
intransigent fundamentals than by institutional
variables more amenable to change, namely,
policies, laws, and their implementation. The

t Abstracts Summer/Fall 1999 6

four institutions contributing to FDI Fitness are
government, markets, education, and
socioculture. This study tests the FDI Fitness
concept in an econometric cross-section of 67
emerging economies between 1978 and 1995.
The analysis shows government and market
variables as the most significant determinants of
FDI inflows. Government fitness is reflected in
economic openness with only minimal trade and
exchange rate controls. Government fitness also
implies a strong rule of law and low corruption,
based on legal and administrative equity and
transparency. Market fitness is represented by
high trade volume, low taxes, high urbanization,
and ready availability of credit and energy.
Given that these determinants reduce incentives
for discretionary behavior and rent-seeking, the
results demonstrate that, while investors are
willing to negotiate, they seek stability and
transparency, preferring clear-cut and consis-
tently implemented regulations to individual
privileges gained through wheeling and dealing.
The regression analysis thus corroborates the
Institutional FDI Fitness theory. The manner in
which policymakers handle institutions, policies,
laws, and their implementation is significantly
more important to foreign direct investors than
relatively intransigent factors such as population
size and socioculture. The FDI Institutional
Fitness theory suggests that every nation has
the opportunity to identify and expand its
competitive strengths in order to increase its
share of global foreign direct investment.


Determinants of Farm Productivity
in Africa: A Synthesis of Four
Case Studies
Reardon, Thomas; Valerie Kelly; et al. Dept. of
Agricultural Economics, Michigan State Univer-
sity; Investment and Trade Resources Interna-
tional. SD Publication Series: Technical Paper
No. 75. December 1997. 47 p. $3.00 paper, $2.00
electronic on disk

The bulk of studies on farm productivity in
Africa, which were performed in the 1960s and
1970s, rely on aggregate data and thus provide
little insight into how current policy, economic,
and environmental changes are determining
farm productivity. Focusing on the farm and
household levels, this study synthesizes case
studies in four African countries (Burkina Faso,
Rwanda, Senegal, and Zimbabwe) to examine
the different patterns and determinants of
agricultural productivity across agroclimatic
zones, crops, types of technology, degrees of
environmental degradation, and levels of
improved inputs. Section 2 discusses definitions
and methods, while section 3 describes the case
study contexts and the data used. Section 4
contrasts aggregated and disaggregated pat-
terns of productivity and notes the importance
of noncropping income for calculating total
household productivity. Section 5 presents
findings concerning the key physical determi-
nants of productivity (seed, fertilizer, land,
labor, and animal traction) and conditioning
factors (markets, credit, noncropping income,
and farm size and land tenure) in the four study
countries. Section 6 concludes with strategic,
policy, and program implications. General
implications of study results are as follows: 1)
Increasing the use of improved inputs for
sustainable intensification is crucial. 2) Strategies
to increase farm productivity will need to differ,
however, between favorable and unfavorable
agroclimatic zones. 3) The environment and the
farm productivity agendas should be linked. 4)
The off-farm employment and the farm produc-
tivity agendas should be linked. 5) Cash crop-
ping programs spur productivity by providing
cash to buy improved inputs, and, depending
how they are organized, by increasing access
from the supply side to improved inputs and to
low-risk output marketing opportunities. This
document is available in full-text at http://www.afr-


4 4A

Abstracts Summer/Fall 1999 7


Community Schools in Mali: A
Comparative Cost Study
Tietjen, Karen. USAID/AFR/SD, Washington
DC; USAID/Mali. SD Publication Series: Techni-
cal Paper No. 97. June 1999. 121 p. $15.73 paper,
$2.00 electronic on disk

This report compares the costs of the two
USAID-supported community school models in
Mali: the Save the Children Fund (SCF) model,
created to respond to the demand in rural
villages for an alternative to publicly provided
education; and the World Education (WE)
model, created to extend government-type
primary education in underserved urban areas
and ensure community involvement by strength-
ening the individual as well as collective capaci-
ties of parents' associations. Contrasting where
possible the two models with government-run
schools, the study assesses the inputs and direct
costs of the community schools, including hidden
costs, the range and structure of their costs, and
the different sources of financing and their
relative importance. The study also addresses
the elements essential to the two models' opera-
tion and support, as well as their comparative
strengths and weaknesses, replicability, and
sustainability. The conclusions are: 1) the cost of
operating community schools is greater than
generally realized. While both the SCF and WE
models have introduced hidden efficiencies such
as reducing construction costs and teachers'
salaries, these savings are offset by correlative
costs such as limited school building durability
and high teacher turnover. 2) Though probative
data are lacking, both models, especially that of
SCF, are potentially cost-effective, but in differ-
ent ways. The SCF model could generate cost
savings not by lowering per student costs, but
by improving student performance levels. The
WE model, by contrast, realizes savings through
lower input costs rather than the probability of
improved student achievement. 3) The different
levels of community involvement in the two
models raise distinct problems. In WE schools,

community contributions, totaling up to 60
percent of school operation costs, are borne
primarily by parents, possibly resulting in the
exclusion of children from poorer households.
SCF schools, by contrast, are highly subsidized
by SCF. There is a risk, however, that these
subsidies may raise unrealistic expectations and
ultimately be a disincentive to community sup-
port and participation. 4) Since both models rely
on parental and community contributions, they
may be more affordable than government-run
schools. Both offer potential cost savings that the
government could adopt. This is especially true
of the WE model. 5) Because both models re-
quire more financial and technical input than the
community can provide, both depend for their
long-term survival on government support.
Government support, in turn, depends on how
easily the model can be assimilated to the pre-
vailing government model. Adopting the WE
model would require less change on the part of
the ministry; the major hurdles are teachers'
status, terms of service, and acceptability to the
national teachers' union. Integration of the SCF
model's radically different instructional pack-
age-particularly the use of maternal lan-
guages-would require major educational policy
changes, and seems unlikely at this point. Impli-
cations for USAID are detailed in the conclusion.


Thoughts about USAID's Reforms:
Perspectives from the Center for
Naval Analysis
Barnett, Tom. Center for Naval Analysis Corp.;
USAID/AFR/SD, Washington, DC. SD Publica-
tion Series: Technical Paper No. 96. June 1999. 56
p. $3.00 paper, $2.00 electronic on disk (page 48
included in paper version only)

Analogies from non-USAID settings are used to
shed light on USAID's reengineering process in
this two-part report. Part I presents essays that
compare USAID's Results Framework (RF)
planning process with, among others, planning
for a cross-country trip from Washington, DC, to

i Abstracts Summer/Fall 1999 8

Los Angeles, California, and military planning
and the role of failure rather than success in
identifying "best practices." Part II develops
analogies from recent U.S. military experiences
to recommend that USAID's new operating
system (OPS): 1) focus on host-country end
states; 2) promote intersectoral cooperation and
synergy as a way to avoid counterproductive
turf wars; 3) generate congressional trust by
placing greater reliance on USAID field person-
nel; 4) avoid short-circuiting the reengineering
process by excessive reliance on old ways; 5)
test the value of reengineering concepts and
practices over time; 6) use performance-based
contracting as a means of balancing tactical and
operational flexibility; 7) balance operation and
strategic flexibility in creating or altering an RF;
8) use RF modeling as a painless way of discern-
ing and identifying failure in the new OPS; and
9) train USAID partners in the new OPS in order
to avoid negative outcomes and soured partner
relationships. This document is available in full-text
at http://www.afr-sd.org/pub.htm.

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Summer/Fall 1999




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Non-USAID readers may have to order some publications directly from the publisher. In these cases, the
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Note: Most of these documents can be downloaded in full-text free of charge using the search option at

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