Reflections on Social Accountability in South Asia Asia Governance Learning Event – CARE International 12 June 2013, Kathmandu Naimur Rahman Chief Operating Officer ANSA-South Asia Region ANSA – South Asia Region (ANSA-SAR) • ANSA - South Asia Region (ANSA-SAR) was launched in 2009 with a three year seed funding from World Bank Institute. Positioned as connector to build bridges between scattered social accountability practitioners & knowledge sources in South Asia incubator of new ideas and approaches – to help co-create innovation; and develop new process and mechanisms for accountability • Supported Social Accountability innovations through small grants in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to pilot & experiment diverge social accountability approaches • Helped deepen knowledge on social accountability processes and praxis by harvesting experiential learning, building capacity of practitioners and mainstreaming • Engaging a broader membership at the regional level through thematic Communities of Practice (CoPs) A Timeline of ANSA SAR Engagement 2009-2010 Piloting Social Accountability Initiatives Focused on supporting Social Accountability innovations through small grants 2011 – 12 Harvesting Lessons, Mainstreaming & Scaling Up Emphasized scaling up pilot projects and engaging a broader membership at the regional level through thematic Communities of Practice (CoPs). 2013 Deepening Country-Level Work Complementing pilot experiences, the focus is on entry points for deepening engagement at the country level while continuing to leverage regional knowledge sharing role. Social Accountability – Examples from South Asia • Raising Community Voices to seek their entitlements under MGNREGA – Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh • Enabling Community Monitoring of Rural Roads (PMGSY) – Orissa, India • People’s Initiative for Accountability and Transparency in Health and Education – Dewas, Madhya Pradesh • Community Score Card in Primary Education and Social Safety-net Project – Bangladesh • Mobile based Citizens’ Feedback on public service delivery and social sector programmes – Bangladesh • Role of Governance against Climate Change Induced Migration – Bangladesh • People and the Land: Empowering Communities for Social Justice in Rural Karachi – Pakistan • Reports from The Other India - Social Accountability through Media Oversight Uttar Pradesh: Empowering rural people for seeking their entitlements under MNREGA to ensure livelihood and food security Location: 99 villages in 30 gram Panchayats of Mirzapur district Sector: Livelihood and Food Security CSO Partner: Centre for Rural Education and Development Action Project Objective • Sensitize the poor and marginalized community members about their rights under MGNREGA, and empower them to demand their legal entitlements • Build the capacity of rural youth volunteers and women SHGs members to equip them with needed inputs for helping people to seek their entitlements • Constructive interaction between the government and the community Initial Results • Facilitated 7500 poor households belonging to scheduled caste and other vulnerable groups to overcome social barriers and get their job cards registered • Unique inclusive approach involving women (especially widows), and physically and visually handicapped people • Meaningful engagement with Panchayat functionaries to streamline discrepancies • Helped create a pool of informed citizen leaders at the village level, who along with growing personally are also becoming an asset to the community Orissa : Enabling Community Monitoring of Rural Roads under PMGSY Location: Rayagada and Gosani blocks of Gajapati district Sector: Rural road construction under PMGSY scheme CSO Partner: Youth for Social Development (YSD) Project Objective • Enable community monitoring of PMGSY roads through dissemination and demystification of information. • Pilot a set of instruments for community monitoring of bidding process; identify reform and advocacy agenda for transparent and accountable bidding process Initial Results • 20 rural roads in 30 villages successfully monitored – both at pre and post bidding stages: • Pre-bidding: Comprehensive checklist to appraise adherence to PMGSY guidelines and transparency in the bidding process. • Post-bidding: Citizen monitors keep watch on road construction quality bench-marks • Perceptible improvement of rural connectivity with improved quality roads in these villages • A cadre of 32 young and enthusiastic community members trained as citizen monitors; and also to spread awareness on PMGSY and RTI to the rest of the community. An ethos of demanding information with is gradually emerging within the community Madhya Pradesh: Peoples Initiative for Accountability and Transparency in Health and Education Location: 30 Gram Panchayats of Dewas and Ujjain district Sector: Rural health and primary education CSO Partner: Jan Sahas Social Development Society Project Objective • Increase community participation and stake in implementation and monitoring of SSA and NRHM • Build capacities of various stakeholders and advocate at policy level to promote the use of social accountability tools in implementation and monitoring of these schemes Initial Results • Enhanced awareness of health and education related entitlements among dalit community members • Positive momentum towards mitigating caste based discrimination: • New school buildings; increased teacher strength in primary school; and tacking the issue of teacher absenteeism. Increase in School enrolment of children from Dalit families. • Health services related discrimination getting addressed with access vaccination and regular distribution of medicines in the villages • Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) now visits the dalit villages regularly and is more responsive in her interactions with villagers CSC in Primary Education & Social Safety Net Sector District Upazilla Unions Partner NGO Social Safety Net Sathkhira Tala 05 Agrogoti Sangstha Bagerhat Fakirhat 05 Jagrata Juba Sangha (JJS) District Upazilla Schools Partner NGO Rangpur Badarganj 02 RDRS Bangladesh Kurigram Ulipur 02 Sector Primary Education Bhurungam 01 ary Gaibandha Fulchhari 05 Dhaka Ahsania Mission CSC in Social Safety Net Mobile Based System for Citizens’ Feedback Role of Governance against Climate Change Induced Migration Diagram of Objectives Protection and sustainable growth of Karachi’s rural hinterland and associated livelihoods Rural Karachi land use as a viable Agro-Urban Complex secured Housing/ Services provided informally by use of political capital Fulfillment of demand for housing /services Informal settlement of land along ethnically defined lines Land is no longer controlled and divided along ethnic lines Improved management of mass migration pressures on land and resources Effective regulation of land development (urban sprawl) - zoning violations and land use conversion Sanction and political support of key planning recommendations Planning authority capable of exercising control over land development – financing and regulation Rehabilitation of natural resource base and provision of agriculture support services Investment in resource (e.g. water) management and renewal Investment in developing agro support industries and facilities A clear recognition (policies, rules/regulations and procedures) and development of rural hinterland as an ‘Agro-urban’ land use zone Effect Cause Reports from the Other India - Social Accountability through Media Oversight Location: Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa and South Rajasthan Sector: Pro-poor development and welfare programmes Media Partner: Governance Now Project Objective Sustained media tracking of state efforts with development at the grassroots – modeled around Saranda Governance Laboratory experiment Initial Results • Governance Now journalists have been stationed at Nalanda (Bihar), Ganjam (Orrisa), Sirohi (Rajasthan) and West Medinapur (West Bengal) to monitor the implementation of four or five priority welfare schemes • • Mirrors and complements CSO led accountability work of that area These reports are published regularly in the fortnightly GovernanceNow magazine under the banner Reports from The Other India. The entire series of fortnightly reports are available in a e-book form at http://governancenow.com/ansa-sar-book.pdf Key Lessons, Issues & Emerging Challenges - I • Social Accountability processes tend to be complex, nonlinear, and embedded in broader political and societal context – Inequality and exclusion need to be central within accountability agenda – The "tools-based" approach risks obscuring the underlying social and political processes that really explain why a given tool is, or is not effective • Social Accountability processes appear to be more likely to bring about change when they support existing pressures for change together with a number of enabling factors: – deepening of democracy, appropriate legal frameworks, – enhanced ability of citizens for informed engagement with state actors, and – proliferation of new technologies especially mobile phones • The use of high-quality and relevant information happens to be a key ingredient for accountability change; however information alone is not sufficient – pro accountability collective action is often needed. Key Lessons, Issues & Emerging Challenges - II • Need for scaling social accountability endeavors to demonstrate tangible outcome with regard to governance responsiveness especially in countries like India; but there are major challenges: – How to transplant one successful model from one context to another – How to embed social accountability praxis across the hierarchy of public institution or government • Calls for considerable Knowledge & Research investments to create adaptable paradigms for taking successful social accountability initiatives to scale – across large and diverge contextual scenarios; and potentially across the decision hierarchy of public institutions and the government • Need for co-creating research framework for rigorous and evidence based mapping of social accountability results influencing attributable impact with regard to development effectiveness and outcome.