SDI survey teams visit a representative sample of health facilities and primary schools in each country. The surveys they produce are intended to be representative of rural and urban areas, public and private providers, and the regions or provinces of some countries. Visiting unannounced, SDI teams assess the levels of absenteeism among teachers and health workers. Teachers are tested for knowledge using 4th grade level tests, and health workers are assessed with patient case simulation or vignettes.
Budgets have not kept pace with enrollment in schools which have led to large student to teacher ratios, overstretched physical infrastructure (classrooms and schools), and not enough textbooks, equipment, and technology.
Service delivery is a result of key inputs that include service provider ability and service provider effort. The service delivery outcomes are established by the relationship among the service providers, i.e., teachers, educators, health providers, policy-makers, and the citizens they serve.
Better educated students and improved health care are the result of relationships and behaviors of individuals and households
The indicators are broken down into three categories:
The indicators are quantitative and ordinal in nature (to allow cross-country and country specific comparisons).
The focus of the Service Delivery Indicators initiative is on quality. It has been designed to link with other research studies in education and health to capture the inputs in policy and institutional environment as well as education or health outcomes.
The following are the surveys by sector linked to SDI:
Education: the Southern and Eastern African Consortium for Monitoring Education Quality (SACMEQ) and Program for the Analysis of Education Systems (PASEC). These are standardized surveys that primarily focus on education outcomes. SDI also links to the World Bank’s Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) Initiative that focuses mainly on policy and institutional environment.
Health: the Service Availability and Readiness Assessments (SARA) and the Service Provision Assessments (SPA) surveys conducted by USAID’s Measure DHS project are comprehensive and detailed health facility surveys that assess all services offered at health facilities.
Currently there are no standardized facility surveys that are repeated with predictable frequency. SDI is designed to fill that gap in the data landscape.
The information is collected on the supply side and the intent is to inform the demand side with accountability and results by consumers – i.e., parents, policy analysts from public and private sector, and policy makers including parliamentarians and government officials.
The sample design for the Service Delivery Indicators is national and disaggregated by rural/urban locations and provider (education and health) type. SDI has oversampled in certain geographic locations in order to adequately capture the data. The sample size is 200-300 facilities and schools (or units) per sector, which provides sufficient precision for the estimates.
The pilot surveys in Tanzania and Senegal showed that the precision of the estimates of the indicators depends on the stratification process. It also can depend on how the variables are measured whether dichotomous or continuous variable.