Citizen Action for results, Transparency and Accountability

Introduction

First Local Governance Support Project (LGSP) as an umbrella program has introduced some new milestone changes in the inter-governmental fiscal transfer, transparency, community participation and accountability. Through the project, UPs nationwide have been provided with enhanced resources and discretion in deciding their spending priorities through community participatory process, while being held accountable for their performance through a number of accountability measures. The CG members and community people of UPs have also benefitted from capacity building program that strengthens their capabilities in a set of core functional areas. From the experiences of LGSP I the critical/ problematic issues that came out are,
1. Due to delay of fund disbursement UPs have been given the opportunity of spend project allocation within short time. Therefore, in one side they could not implement bigger and sustainable projects. On the other hand they have been given the opportunity for corruption;
2. Although in paper UPs selected schemes in a participatory method but in reality a small section of the community are involved in the scheme selection process (relatives and friends of the chairmen and members);
3. Level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the community is not measured and/ or considered;
4. Although LGSP is a wide program but the information is not widely disseminated through national media. People at large do not know much about this project.
5. Social auditing was done in a limited manner;
6. There was not any visible advocacy initiative based on the experiences of implementation of the project;
Democracywatch will organize Citizen Groups (CG) which will promote the Demand for Good Governance (DFGG). CGs will be formed with participation of 27 enthusiastic cross sectional community representatives including at least one third of the female in each UP. Three community representatives including one female from each ward and thus in total 27 members' committee will be trained about Community Scorecard Process (CSP). One of the objectives of CSP as social accountability tools is to empower people for improving the system, process and authority in order to assert their rights and quality implementation of LGSP-II. Besides, CSP will assist implementing agency to know and identify its critical areas of improvements and how best the program can be implemented through people's participation. It's a way towards successful implementation of program for the people and by the implementer. The CG will also act as: (a) third party tracking of project processes and results, (b) promotion of potential beneficiaries' access to information regarding LGSP implementation, (c) strengthened citizen capacity to respond to emerging issues/concerns, and (d) increased citizen ability to improve project outcomes by holding project implementation agencies more responsive. The prime development objective of the second LGSP is to strengthen UP as a transparent institutions involving the community and prioritizing their development concerns. That's why among other social accountability tools CSP might be the best method to monitor the LGSP projects more efficiently and effectively as community people proactively involved in different steps of CSP. The CGs will only play the role of facilitation and compilation. It is expected to play the following roles step by step:

Step 1: CGs will create a favorable atmosphere in the community and UPs where CSP will be practiced. LGSP project related information/input tracking by consulting with the community, UP representatives, concerned department and office will be compiled by CGs member. RTI request form might be submitted to respective personnel to collect relevant information where need as timely.

Step 2: CG members will facilitate FGD at their respective wards where 7-12 community people will attend in each FGD session. The FGD participants will take part and express their opinion and score on quality implementation of the LGSP grants utilization against set indicators. The facilitators will develop the key indicators/methods of 2nd LGSP project identification and prioritization of community concerns nurtured by WC and the SSC members' supportive supervision to WC. On the other hand, union level discussion meeting will be arranged with SSC and SIC where they will provide score/self-assessment score on same indicators to know how efficiently and accurately they implemented the project.

Step 3: Respective union level CG members and the LGU representatives will arrange an interface meeting to compile and present the community scorecard report. This score will give the picture about overall performance of utilization of BBG of LGSP project implemented by UP. Therefore, it will be disclosed in the UP information board. The findings/ report of the CSP will be submitted to the respective UNO and DDLG to ensure the bottom up accountability/vertical linkage of LGSP projects. The CSP is a continuous community monitoring processes and expected to conduct three times over the project span. The inactiveness of UP Standing Committee (SC) is also appears as a barrier towards establishing local governance. Hence, the CG members along with respective SC members of the UPs will oversee the LGSP block grants project implementations and monitoring. DW will submit a copy of CSP report to BUPF (LG association) central committee and district committee in order to keep the sub project freed from external influences and make a vertical and horizontal linkage with LG association.

Goal: Promote local governance's responsiveness through ensuring accountability and transparency of UPs for better performance in particularly LGSP-II involved by community people.

Long term Objective: Increased accessibility of community people (especially disadvantaged groups women, regardless of sex, caste, class, religion and ethnicity) in the management system of selected UPs that convey the positive change of local governance representatives to utilize the BBG properly at 30 UPs as quality services for the grassroots people.

Specific Objective:
1) To promote transparency and accountability of LGSP-II performance by involving community using social accountability (SA) tools specially community scoring card process.

2) Increased LG related information flow/room for access to information for the mass people

3) Ensure pro-people participation in local governance procedure in the UPs

4) Local policy implementers sensitized on citizen actions towards increasing transparency and accountability of UPs

 

Geographic location:

    District

    Upazila

    Union Parishad

    Nilphamari

    Sadar

    15 UPs
    (Chowra BoroGacha, Panchopukur, Tupamari, Sonaray, Sangolshi, Ramnagor, Laxmichap, Palashbari, Kundupukur, Khokshabari, Kachukata, Gorgram, Choraikhola, Chaprasaranjani, Itakhola)

    Jessore Sadar 15 UPs
    (Echali, Narendrapur, Upasahar, Noapara, Lebutala, Kochua, Kasimpur, Bosundia, Fatepur, Diara, Churamonkhati, Hebotpur, Chachra, Arabpur, Ramnagar)